Mark 1:35 NLT
Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.
Although we know little of what took place between Jesus and his Father in the solitary place, we can recognise several essential elements that apply to each one of us seeking intimate space with God.
St Mark tells us Jesus set out early in the morning. Sounds like bad news for all non-morning people. Yet this is perhaps more a sense of seeking God as the storm clouds gather, not once we are in the heart of the storm itself. It is always easier to take remedial action ahead of the storm, than once it is at its zenith. If only I’d paid more attention to knowing God for those years I dedicated to faithful service, I may not have imploded so completely when Katey was diagnosed. There literally was nothing I could call upon and I floundered badly. I couldn’t distinguish God’s voice above my own head noise and heartache. I knew of no way to connect with God in the turmoil of my shattered present and disintegrating dreams.
Jesus constantly engaged with his Father in the wake of significant ministry, no doubt to reflect upon this, and also to consider how he would return to face even greater opposition and opportunity. Where I assumed God was with me, Jesus humbly sought his Father’s blessing and wisdom. The Church has for centuries celebrated the dawn as a point of gratitude that God’s provision is available once again to overcome darkness. So Jesus recognised that without God there can be no fresh dawn, and I needed to discover how Katey and I might discover a new dawn in the midst of our own deep pain.
My learning has been that where historically in the face of events not going my way, the storm clouds gathering and then breaking, I’d have begun a destructive series of emotional reactions, now, despite the inner tensing of my muscles and my desire to react, I can run towards God and begin conversation with him.
QUESTION: How good are you at getting to God early? Do you find yourself having to recover from a hasty and hurtful reaction when faced with challenge?
PRAYER: Lord God, I know that your way will not be the same as my way, but it is the safe and sure way forward for me. Amen.