Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 31, 2019
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35 (NRSV)
Throughout his life and ministry, Jesus models for his early disciples the way of life they themselves are meant to walk in. He, by example, shows the way of humility and self-giving love, the way of sacrifice for those you love and how to lay down your life for your friends. And in Mark 1, we see Jesus through his own actions remind us afresh of how centrally important it is to carve out unhurried and undistracted time with the Lord in prayer.
In the era of social media and smart devices, it is becoming almost impossible to be alone. Our jobs demand that we are instantly available and always responsive. Our social relationships extend in countless ways into areas of life that were once private and personal. And we are told time and time again that this is not only normal but is meant to deepen and enrich the human experience. Yet as countless people can attest, we are more connected than ever before yet lonelier and more isolated than any previous generation.
Might we learn something profound from Jesus’ model of pursuing regular and intentional time alone in stillness and silence? Before the distractions and responsibilities of the day crash in, can we, like Jesus, learn to cultivate healthy habits of faith that include regular rhythms of time alone, and not just alone, but alone with the Lord?
I’m increasingly convinced that it is possible to be alone and even silent, yet internally filled with noise, clutter, and distraction. It isn’t just that Jesus goes to a silent place. He goes to a quiet place, turns off all the noise and distraction within, but then takes the additional step of turning towards the Lord in prayer. In stillness we turn away from all that distracts and discourages, but in turning to the Lord we find our strength renewed and our joy increased.
Find ways today to prioritize time alone, not to be still just for stillness sake, but to turn your heart and soul towards the Lord, trusting that he will meet you in that place.
“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90:14).
Father, as we seek you in the stillness and quiet of the morning, would you be faithful to meet us and remind us of our true identity as your beloved children, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Do you have a regular habit of quiet time alone with the Lord? If not, how can you take a step in that direction?
In solitude we turn away from all that distracts and discourages, and the Lord renews our strength and elevates our joy. #wisdomhunters #solitude
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