When I Need to Get Away

Leah DiPascal

Day: 9 | Plan: Luke

Today’s Reading: Luke 5

Luke 5:15-16 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a crowd that seemed a little overwhelming or chaotic? The noise and the chatter ... shifting ... squeezing. Sometimes the activity that accompanies a mass of people can be too much.

Crowds were common occurrences for Jesus during His three years of ministry. Seldom did He go anywhere that people didn’t gather almost immediately. As the good news about Jesus’ teachings and healings spread, they came from all over wanting to see Him up close and personal. Some spectators were immediate believers, others were simply curious—and then there were the critics.

From sunup to sundown Jesus faithfully ministered—whether it was to one lonely soul or a multitude sprawled out on a mountainside. People brought loved ones who were sick, deformed, almost dead or demon possessed, hoping to get close enough for Jesus to notice and heal them. They waited with curiosity to hear Him say the unthinkable. They watched in hopes He would do the impossible.

But notice the words tucked inside today’s key verse: “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).

Jesus loved the people He ministered to and had great compassion on them, but sometimes He chose to step away from the crowds.

On a consistent basis Jesus withdrew from people, daily life and the ongoing requests of ministry to find a place of peace and quiet. The location wasn’t always the same and the time of day would vary, but one thing was consistent. Jesus made a priority to set aside moments—sometimes hours or even all night long for silence, solitude and prayer.

To escape the crowded noise and be alone in prayer with the Father. (Luke 11:1)

To contemplate situations and make important decisions. (Luke 6:12-13)

To rest and be refreshed from the daily grind of ministry. (Mark 6:31-32)

To process life’s challenges and deal with real emotions. (Matthew 14:13)

Even in His deepest time of despair, Jesus chose to be alone and pray as He prepared for His greatest suffering. (Mark 14:32, 35-36)

It’s important to remember that Jesus lived in full submission to the Father. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19) and spoke words that were given to Him by the Father. They were continually in complete oneness. (John 10:30) And yet Jesus still felt the need to get away at times and be alone with His Father.

If Jesus made it a regular practice to withdraw from the hustle of everyday life to find solitude and pray, how much more necessary is it for us? Surely we are not busier or have more demands than Jesus did.

Our ability and effectiveness as God’s witnesses in this world is rooted first and foremost in our relationship with Him. And no matter how determined or strong we think we are, the constant demands of everyday life can eventually wear us down and deplete us.

We need to be intentional and consistent in finding our own place of solitude. A quiet setting—away from all the noise and distractions—to pray and be aware of our heavenly Father’s presence.

And when we do, we’ll be able to hear His voice and be renewed by His strength. We’ll have the opportunity to process life’s challenges with Him and be completely honest in our raw emotions. We can gain wisdom and direction to make important decisions.

We may not always know the right thing to say or do, but as we spend time with God in our place of solitude, He will reveal those things to us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach me the discipline of daily solitude with You. Help me say no to other things that are less important so I can always say yes to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

In the beginning verses of Luke 5 we read the story of how Jesus chose some of His first... Read More

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