Friday, November 5, 2010

Take a Step Back

"And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed." Mark 1:35

I love this verse. It seems so simple on the surface, but once you look further into its context it tells us so much. Jesus had been up all night, surrounded by a demanding crowd of people looking for miracles. The account recorded in Mark chapter one tells us that the entire town surrounded the house Christ was staying in. The town's people were looking for a whole host of miracles, from physical cures to spiritual ones. While providing for people's physical and emotional repairs, Christ himself recognized that he needed a cure himself. However, rather than perform a "miracle" to cure himself, Jesus knew exactly what he needed to to;

Escape.

Christ knew he had to take a step back from the world (i.e., the crowd gathered around him) and recharge his batteries in order to ensure the continuation of his ministry. He knew that if he were to continue being able to serve the afflicted, he would have to leave them temporarily to regain his strength. Christ did not leave to take a nap, sleeping his problems away. Nor did he get angry and drive the crowds away. No, instead he went to a quiet place, prayed, and gained strength from the Father. Christ set the example on how we should react to hardships. We do not ensure our survival by leaning upon ourselves. Instead, we pray to God for strength.

Everyone hits rock bottom. The difference between those with God's grace, and those lost to the world is the way you land when you reach that bottom, and how far down you are willing to go. Do you fall so far that you hit so hard that it knocks all sense of purpose out of you? Or do you recognize the downward slope and take corrective action landing with grace, never losing hope? We can't keep the bottom from coming, it's going to happen eventually. The difference is the depths we're willing to go to before we decide to land.

When the world is banging at our door, let us take a step back and let God answer it.

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