Enjoy His Presence

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Being needed can be seductive, even if it wears us out a bit. When we follow Jesus to a solitary place, however, we are replenished, paradoxically, by being needy ourselves.

The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases… 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 1:33–35, NIV

Life gets crowded sometimes. The needs of family, the pressures of work, the delicate drama of friendships—all create a pressure on us that can feel overwhelming.

Jesus experienced and understood this. His days were full, and He took it in stride when the whole town showed up at His doorstep looking for help and healing. He willingly gave them what they needed.

But the next morning, He did something some of us might consider selfish, if we dared to do it ourselves. He escaped from the people and their demands. He walked out (for a little while) on even His closest friends.

Jesus came to earth to die for us, but also to live in front of us. If we want to be close to Him, the only way to do it is to imitate Him—to live as He would in our place, to make His spiritual practices ours.

Throughout the Gospels, this refrain echoes: “Jesus went to a solitary place.” Jesus regularly engaged in the spiritual discipline of solitude. What drove Him away from the adoring but demanding crowd? Certainly not obligation or guilt. Rather, He valued His relationship with the Father more than the approval of people.

When it feels like the whole town is gathered at your door, asking for your help, it can be seductive—we love being needed, even if it wears us out a bit. When we follow Jesus to a solitary place, we are replenished, paradoxically, by the privilege of being needy ourselves—and realizing that only God can meet those needs. In Jesus’ presence, we gain proper perspective on what really matters.

FAITH STEP: Tomorrow, get up early to spend some time in solitude, alone with Jesus. Enjoy His presence in a simple and quiet way.


Contributed by Keri Wyatt Kent

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