Jesus had all the power of heaven on his side. He healed the sick, cast out demons, and even raised people from the dead. He was on the go, go, go, getting a lot done in a short amount of time. He didn’t rest much. No, wait – read it again. “But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.” I have no doubt Jesus could not have done what he did without that intentional withdraw from the craziness that was his life, to pray.
Why then, are we so certain we cannot possibly afford the time to withdraw? To be still? To pray? To be quiet? I remember learning that at the onset of the industrial revolution, it was predicted that by this time the work week would be fewer than 10 hours because we could get it all done by machine. But what has happened is the information age that followed made the working world even more competitive. With advancements being made at the speed of light, human beings have to work harder and longer to keep up with it all. But we weren’t wired that way. We were created to require rest. (I kinda wanna write that in all caps, but I don’t wanna be rude. Oh, to heck with it…) We were CREATED TO REQUIRE REST! We don’t have to work harder and longer. We just think we do. We can actually work smarter and more efficiently if we rest. Withdraw. Pray. Sleep. Eat well. Exercise. The time we take to care for ourselves will pay off in the end.
Once, when he was in one of the cities, there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do choose. Be made clean.” Immediately the leprosy left him. And he ordered him to tell no one. “Go,” he said, “and show yourself to the priest, and, as Moses commanded, make an offering for your cleansing, for a testimony to them.” But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.