Solitude is Overrated
When I think about Jesus I’m kind of amazed. Well, not kind of, I am amazed. He does stuff that I aspire to do, but never quite fulfill.
Like the time when Jesus heard about his friend John. Herod (a rather powerful dude at the time), was once again enticed by a woman. As a result he had John beheaded in an effort to fulfill a stupid promise he made to his temptress’ daughter. Upon hearing of John’s gruesome death, we learn that Jesus “withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself.”
That sounds like what I want to do when I am upset. It is what I want to do. Don’t touch me. Let me go off. By being alone, I can reflect. I can cry, ball, wail, hit the bed, or even pick my nose if I want. It doesn’t matter how ugly or loud I get; I can be myself with my God. I can frantically journal or just stare out the window. There is quiet and peace in the solitude.
But that’s NOT what Jesus got. The people, probably full of questions and more likely themselves, became like the paparazzi. They followed Him!!!!I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I can’t imagine it is ever quiet in God’s ears up in heaven, so why would that change when He came down to earth?
I would have groaned. I think I would have tried to nonchalantly row backward, hoping that no none saw me avoiding them. Or I quite possibly would have looked the other direction, you know pretending not to see them . . . not that I have EVER been guilty of doing such a thing before. Who knows, maybe a large fish jumped out of the water and drew attention with its splash.
Not Jesus. “He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.” Now according to the sermon today, our pastor (Bill) explained that “saw” more closely means to know, to perceive, or to study. So already Jesus knew what these people needed. He perceived their hearts, desires, and motivations. And because of this knowledge He “felt compassion,” meaning His bowels were moved for them. Sounds gross doesn’t it? Think of it this way . . . our bowels largely control how we feel. According to many health experts, it is said that your health lies in your gut. And let me ask you . . . when you have to go #2, aren’t you driven or motivated to rush to the bathroom? Similarly, Jesus was driven and moved to help these people.
I know I would be left thinking, do I really have to get out of the boat? I really was looking forward to my
me-time God-time. Even though the Savior’s “quiet time” was interrupted, He still saw the people and reached out to them IN LOVE.
God help me, I am soooooo not there.
Not only does Jesus’ time to grieve for His friend’s death get interrupted but then He has to basically babysit a bunch of disciples who don’t get it. These 5,000 people are hungry. Heck, they followed Jesus to the other side of the lake on foot. They have worked up an appetite. Much like my children in the morning.
FEED MY PEOPLE! I doubt He screamed it. But sometimes I feel like that is how God has to talk to me. I’m so stinkin’ selfish these days. Can’t I sit a little bit longer on the couch and read while household contains a morning hush of childlike heavy breathing?
I do see something practical in the text though (by the way, I am looking at Matthew 14:13-21), as pointed out by Bill. The disciples saw reality as feeding 5,000 people with only fives loaves of bread and two fish. When Jesus was done, there was some food left over.
The factoid for this mother: Jesus will take whatever ounce of energy, love, patience, etc. that I have (or really don’t have) and use it PLUS multiple it.
So, I am praying for some seriously multiplication in my heart. I love my kids, but I am praying that God multiplies my love and makes me adore them (in a healthy way). So much so, that I am gentle . . . loving (yet still firm), imaginative, playful, and not so serious.
Anybody else out there know what I’m talking about?