Luke 5:16 – Jesus Retreats, Rests, and Prays

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    Mornings with Jesus
    Gwen Ford Faulkenberry

    And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness and prayed. Luke 5:16

    Two Boston terrier puppies play at my feet as I type this. They wrestle, rolling around before they take off across my great room, toenails clicking wildly. When they try to stop, they slide 16 inches on the hardwood floor. In a moment, they’ll give out. When they do, they will flop down wherever they are, with their little, round bellies in the air. Soon after, they’ll be snoring through their adorable bulldog noses.

    Their idea is play hard, sleep hard. Our lives are not so simple., but whether we work or play hard, we all need rest. This shouldn’t be hard to remember, but it is. I look out at the world and see so much that needs to be done, that I’m overwhelmed. It seems like there’s no time to rest.

    The Talmud says (and I’m paraphrasing): “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.” So how does one manage?

    Jesus did the most important work the world has ever known in His short ministry. Yet, Luke tells us He took time to rest. He gave of Himself, until He was tired. Then, He withdrew Himself, and He prayed.

    I love that Jesus went to the wilderness to get away from people and talk to God. He didn’t go to the couch or to see Dr. Luke or even to the church. He went to the wilderness. I guess, I love that because the wilderness is my happy place, too. It’s where I feel peaceful and safe and closest to God. But it’s not the place that’s really important. The important thing is the rest.

    Faith Step: How long has it been since you withdrew to a quiet place for rest and listened to Jesus in prayer? Fill up your bubble bath, fix yourself some good food or take a hike. He’ll meet you there.

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