‘When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” Mark 1:37 (NRSV)
Jesus, needing to be alone with his Father had slipped away from the demands of ministry to be ministered to. Prime time to do this was very early in the morning while it was still dark. Jesus found a silent, deserted place and here he could spend time in solitude. Jesus had found a place that provided the stillness he needed to be nourished in his Father’s presence.
Ministry is demanding. There will always be another need – another phone call to make, another person to visit, another meeting to attend, another email to answer. Jesus’s work was endless, and so too is ours. Sometimes we might ask, “Where does it all end?”
It ends when we stop and withdraw to be alone with our Father.
Our soul needs replenishing – often. Is it time to hang up a ‘Closed’ sign and retreat to a deserted place? We offer kindness and care to others, but often neglect to show the same to ourselves.
Jesus understood that intervals of rest were the only way to nurture the life that could be effective in ministering to others.
We can only offer others what we have received from the Father.
If we do not return again and again to soak in his presence, we will eventually have nothing to offer.
Let’s follow the rhythm of Jesus who ministered and then was ministered to. This is the rhythm that will sustain us. What are the obstacles to retreating with the Father? What needs to be put in place so they can be overcome?
Jennifer lives in Toowoomba, Queensland, with her family. She enjoys encouraging others on their Christian journey through writing and mentoring. Contact