Solitude

Matthew 14:  12-14  Unwilling to lose face with his guests, he did it—ordered John’s head cut off and presented to the girl on a platter. She in turn gave it to her mother. Later, John’s disciples got the body, gave it a reverent burial, and reported to Jesus.  When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. But unsuccessfully—someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity and healed their sick.

I painted this at the beginning of summer because I saw a picture and liked it, so I stole it and changed it to make it my own–total normal artist thing.  I couldn’t decide on words, and really I didn’t want any on there.  I wanted it to be in solitude.

Then in August I was reading this passage that leads up to when Jesus feeds 5000 with fish and bread.  But look at the words I put in bold.  And notice why He was slipping away–to grieve John the Baptist.

I started thinking about other times Jesus tried to find solitude.  Most of the time according to the gospels He was not successful, and most were to grieve something already done or coming, and each time something bigger comes after.  The poor man never had a break.

But God never does take a break.

But I love that He was modeling in the gospels that we should take breaks.  That it is okay to grieve and want solitude to do so.  We may need to grieve death–we may need to grieve mean things people said to us, or stress that got the better of our day, or something that probably will never live up to our expectations.

Jesus understands.  Not everything is good in our lives.  And that is why He never takes that break–but He plans for our breaks, He plans for our eternal peace when we get to Him.  He plans to be our light and hope.

Take time today–on this day of rest from labor.  Give Him your grief.  He will turn it into something bigger and more wonderful than you can imagine.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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