"But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray."
- Luke 5:15-16
Have you ever considered how difficult it is to “unplug”? We have so many devices and ways to stay connected nowadays. Smartphones, text messages, emails, social media, and more. With so many tools at our disposal, I fear there’s a growing social expectation in many circles that we should be available to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Jesus faced a similar dynamic, even so many centuries ago. As his public ministry progressed, crowds of desperate people clamored for Jesus’ attention. Some longed for healing from dreaded diseases or otherwise hopeless conditions. Others wanted spiritual instruction and guidance. Some simply wanted a show, for Jesus to perform an amazing miracle or sign of some sort. This swarm of humanity constantly pressed upon Jesus, even to the point of exhaustion.
We see an example of this in the fifth chapter of Luke. Having just healed a leper, Luke records that great crowds pressed upon Jesus "to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities.” However, Jesus didn’t always respond as the crowds around him desired. Many times, as Luke tells us, he withdrew to solitary places to pray instead.
Think about that. Even Jesus didn’t do it all. Even Jesus wasn’t always available. To a world that wanted to creep into every corner and crevice of his life, Jesus said, “No." In a manner of speaking, Jesus often “unplugged."
Jesus lived proactively, seeking and responding to the Father’s will for him, not reactively, pushed here and there by the agendas of those around him. And how did Jesus know the will of his Father? He proactively and unapologetically took time to seek it in prayer. He frees you to do the same.
Child of God: Jesus “unplugged" to spend time with his Father. He’s freed you to do the same. Don’t be afraid to turn off the world’s noise for a while. Don’t wait for the world’s permission, either. You already have all the permission you need.
You’re loved. Don’t forget it.