But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. -Luke 5:16
YES!!! Even Jesus needed time alone! To pray. To think. To rejuvenate. To bring life back into focus. We always think of Jesus and the masses. We remember the crowds that he preached to pressing in all around, the disciples that he taught constantly asking questions, people following Him wherever He went. Not very often do we think about the solitude of Jesus. The quiet Jesus who’s only need was to spend time alone in the presence of His Father.
How many times did Jesus find himself surrounded by thousands and thousands of people, people begging for healing, people waiting to see a miracle, people just wanting to hear the words that He would preach? More times than we can count, right? Everywhere He looked there were people, people, and more people. But, every now and then, we see Jesus quietly slipping away from the crowds…
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. -Mark 1:35
After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. -Mark 6:46
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. -Matthew 14:13
At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. -Luke 4:42
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. -Luke 6:12
Have you ever wondered why He went off by Himself? He could have prayed anywhere, anytime, and His Father would have heard Him and answered every single prayer. He had a direct line to God! He didn’t need to go anywhere! God was never more than a whisper away. Yet, time and again we find Jesus wandering off into solitude and quiet. Why would He do that?
Well, I know why I do that. Sometimes when life gets crazy, when the demands on my time seem to outweigh the joy in my heart, when I start to feel trapped by the schedule I’ve built – that’s when I need a safe place to run to. The crowd seems to be pressing in all around me and all I want is space to breathe – that’s when I search for that quiet place. (Does anyone else get this?!) I need to get away from all of the distractions and busyness in order to find myself (my center, my purpose, my fire) in my Father. He is the One who centers me. He is the One who brings direction to my life. He is the One who calms my spirit while fanning the flame in my heart. And yes, I am lost without Him.
Jesus understood that. He understood the desperate need for time alone with God, time to pray and focus on nothing but His Father. His Father’s love, His Father’s goodness, His Father’s will. Jesus gets me! He understands my need for solitude and quiet! He understands when I break away from the crowds, searching for a quiet place to reflect. It doesn’t make me a recluse or a hermit. It doesn’t mean I don’t love people. On the contrary, it’s in the quiet places where I find the love and hope I need to share with the world. It’s where I find Him.