Luke 5:16 – And he withdrew himself into the wilderness and prayed.
My favorite past time is sitting in my car on busy parking lots. It seems that I make my best to-do lists there, read, find peace and often whisper words of prayer. I love to people watch, so in between the reading, sitting still and praying, I glance at people – observe their nuisances, notice their idiosyncrasies and just enjoy looking at God’s creation.
In recent years, I’ve often asked myself why I enjoy this practice so much. I think it is because I have built, by design, a very busy life for myself. I think it is directly related to that old saying that the “idle mind is the workshop of the devil.” I decided years ago that I would never have an idle mind. So I have made “busyness” a part of my day – writing, reading, speaking engagements, teaching, working, and the list goes on. So whenever I find a small piece of time – whether it’s 15 minutes or 30 minutes to simply wait in my car for the next event, I find it so relaxing and refreshing.
Please note that busyness of not of God. Sometimes we busy ourselves - doing the wrong things with the wrong people. We often busy ourselves to avoid dealing with life in general. I have been known to fill up my schedule with the mundane to avoid the necessary things and tasks that I abhor. Our women’s Bible study leader says, “If satan, can’t make us bad, he will make us busy!” So be careful as you busy yourselves. (I am talking to myself mainly).
To steal away is an idiom that means to leave quietly without being noticed. In Luke 5:16, I find it interesting that Jesus, the savior, the author of the universe, the lover of my soul, the Christ – the anointed one, the God of creation would take time to withdraw to himself. Various Bible translations say different things – some say he withdrew to lonely places, desolate or deserted places. The translations also note that He withdrew, retired, and slipped away to these places. As Jesus’ ministry grew, he took more time for silence and solitude with the Father in prayer.
As busy women – wives, moms, sisters, aunties, daughters, professionals, teachers and the list goes on, we need to follow the example of Jesus and withdraw to our secret places of solitude and silence. Maybe your secret place is the laundry room, or the back yard or the garage or the small seconds you have for yourself in the bathroom. As your ministry – as your territory is enlarged, so should your practice of stealing away grow. In those moments of solitude and silence, we breathe deeply and encounter the lover of our souls, who longs for those moments with us, just as much as we need those moments with Him.
Today, promise yourself time to steal away; to find time to sneak away to talk to the Father. Follow the example of Jesus, take a breather from all of the cares of the world – the piles of laundry, the unpaid bills, the active kids, the grocery shopping and all the to-do lists that you’ve created and not followed. It doesn’t have to be a vacation with all the works, but merely a drive down to Target, a slow walk through the shoe store, a walk in the park. You can take 15 minutes in a bathroom, car, board room, wherever you can find solitude and steal away for a talk with your Heavenly Father. He’s waiting to hear from you and you’ll be glad you spent time with Him!
Don’t forget to live in the RED – under the covering of the blood and the forgiveness of SIN!