Last week, I wrote about the importance of being still before God. How, in stillness, we can know Him better and hear his voice above the noisy world in which we live. I even did a quick word study about the root of the Hebrew word harpu mentioned in Psalm 46:10, for you other “word-nerds” like me.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psa 46:10, ESV)
Let’s dwell together on this verse today:
“And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” (Mark 6:31, ESV)
I absolutely love the words of Jesus in Mark 6:31 above. The compassion in Christ’s words here touches my heart and humbles my soul with immense gratitude. How He loved His disciples! (And how He also loves us!) He knew his disciples were overworked and tired and that they needed refueling… emotionally, spiritually, and physically… just as I mentioned before. This is the concern of the Great Physician… meeting every need of His children! Oh, yes! How tenderly He loves us!
See, when the disciples were able to have time alone with Jesus, they were able to get the teaching, training, and refueling that they needed to then go out and share with others. Today, we too can have time with God learning from Him through His word and Spirit, and resting in His presence. All it takes the commitment to having stillness, to having that daily “quiet time.” And this world is so busy—we are so busy!
But those quiet moments are so worth it! We need to fill our cups—and when our own cups are full, the overflow can slosh out onto others.
I love it that Jesus calls His disciples to a “desolate” place. This word in Greek is eremos, and is also translated as secluded, lonely, desert, wilderness, solitary, and so on. Get the idea? It’s significant to me that Jesus called them away to a place where there would be no distractions. No people vying for their attention, nothing to draw their eyes from the Savior, and not even the distraction of relying on anyone other than Jesus to fulfill all needs.
Jesus seeks to be our all in all. And when we come away with Him to a “desolate” place, where we’re free of distractions and the weights of the world, we have the opportunity to rely on Him completely.
So… am I saying we need to run off to the desert to be alone with God?
No, the point is this: living with a quiet spirit, and seeking stillness with God is something we must strive for. When we are still, we can know He is God– we can trade feelings for solid knowledge and trust in Him more and more. And, when our lives are full of Jesus, there’s less room for other, less satisfying “stuff” to clutter our hearts and minds.
I’ve had some very special times with my Savior early in the morning when the household sleeps, while studying the Bible, and devoting my physical body to stillness and silence. This is usually the time where I have the best chance for uninterrupted prayer and deep Bible study. But time with God isn’t confined to that. I’ve also had sweet moments with Him while cooking dinner, driving in the car, folding laundry, washing dishes, snuggling a child to sleep, and so on.
Although a little more difficult, quieting the mind and the heart can be done even in a noisy room, the hustle of the city, and even with numerous distractions. Time spent in prayer, praise, and meditating on God’s Word can be done in a quiet room alone, or in the kitchen with a mop in hand.
The fact of the matter is a big part of life is about distractions and how we handle them. I think Jesus truly does desire time alone with us, but He also is gracious and incredibly understanding! If you read further in Mark 6, specifically verses 32 through 45, you’ll see that even though Jesus knew the disciples needed to come away with him to a desolate place it didn’t work out right away. There was a greater need that had to be met first. And so, the disciples got an amazing lesson from Jesus about serving others when you’re tired. They got conversational time alone with Jesus amidst a crowd both hungry for the teaching of Jesus and for physical food. They witnessed firsthand and close up a miraculous moment of provision.
When the opportunity for learning that lesson was over, Jesus placed them on a boat to get to the other side of the lake. Then, after first spending time alone with the Father, Jesus joined them through yet another miraculous moment by walking on the water—joining them for more time alone with Him.
So, as you go about your life today, what can you do to still your mind and spirit? What enables you to seek to “come away” with Jesus to a “desolate” place?
How has your time being still and knowing He is God changed your life?
Click to tweet this: When our own cups are full, the overflow can slosh out onto others. @HearfeltByAli