Daily Reflection – 1/16/19
As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon´s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them. That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed and Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons. (Mark 1:29-39)
You know as well as I that there are times when life is just plain hard. We don’t get our way. Things happen that we never wanted to have happen. Faith is difficult and its results are not so tangible. In those times it seems as if there is only darkness and Jesus is nowhere to be seen.
Regardless of how dark it may seem Jesus never leaves us. He may withdraw but that does not mean he is absent. His withdrawing is in reality an invitation for us to move to a new place, to the deserted place.
We all have deserted places in our lives. For some it is accepting the limitations that age and disease bring. Others deal with broken relationships. Loneliness and grief are desert places for some. You could each name your own wildernesses and deserts.
Most of us don’t like the deserted places. Our sorrows and losses are laid bare in the deserted place. In the wilderness we have to admit we are not in control. It is also, however, the place where our deepest healing can happen.
Jesus goes to the deserted places of our lives to draw us there.
They are the starting point for his message of good news. Good news comes from the empty and desolate places. New life arises from the deserted and empty places. The good news of Christ comes from the wilderness.
I wonder where we will search when the nighttime of our life comes. Go to the deserted places of your life, places that you think are barren, empty, desolate, and there you will find Jesus, praying.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, you are my beginning and my end: you created me, and you are leading me home to you in heaven. Thank you for your love. I know that my sins can compound my unworthiness, yet you would still enfold me in your unfathomable love. Lord, increase my love for prayer and the quiet of my life when we are together.
We must be careful to build our days around prayer – not build prayer around our days. Let’s face it, life travels at such a swift pace nowadays! If we wait to have time to pray, it won’t happen. Punctuating the day with prayer – at rising, at lunch and at retiring – and any other time in between – sure does help one to stay at peace despite the world wind of activity. It helps us to keep our “eyes on Jesus!