Some people call it “down time.” Others think of it as “recharging.” Even Jesus needed this. During His ministry, Jesus immersed himself in helping and serving others. It wasn’t long before the word got out, and Jesus found himself surrounded by people…with their constant flow of needs. “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” (Luke 5:15-16). Here we see Jesus living by the priorities of the Spirit. From His life and example, we learn that quality time with the Father is essential for quality time with people. During my years of ministry, I notice how easy it is to feel tired and depleted by life’s many demands. When I start to feel overwhelmed, it’s like an alarm clock goes off in my heart…calling me to spend time alone with God. To be honest, most of my prayer times with the Lord are not “shock and awe.” I don’t hear voices or receive emotional lightning bolts. However, I do receive strength and peace. Just putting myself in the presence of Jesus feeds my soul and encourages my heart. I think of Jesus’ conversation with his friends Mary and Martha. They had invited Jesus to their house for dinner. Instead of running around in a frenzy, Mary chose to sit and listen to Jesus. Martha, on the other hand, “was distracted by all the preparations” (Luke 10:40). Finally, Martha boils over in frustration to Jesus and explodes, “Tell her to help me!” Does Jesus give in to her stress? He lovingly replies, “Martha, Martha…you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (vv. 41-42). We need to understand there is a time to work and a time to “unplug” and just be with Jesus. Without time at His feet, even good ministry seems like a burden and work becomes a source of irritation. So, what are you doing to create your “alone time” with Jesus? His power is more than enough to sustain us, but we need to create a pathway into His presence. He will meet you. His presence is all you need!
Pastor Mark Boucher