“He Withdrew Himself”

A four photo compilation of flooding, protesting, virus pandemic, and soldiers in desert skirmish

Every day, this world grows more and more perplexing. There is a steady deluge of reports from all forms of media about political upheavals, infestations, pandemics, famines, skirmishes and provocations, inflammatory rhetoric, erratic and violent weather, uprisings, and so much more. Yet many of these reports contradict each other or offer conflicting advice. In fact, we are being inundated with so much information today that it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between what is fact, myth, or propaganda, and what is truth.

Yet all of these things happening are not a surprise to God. He knew everything that we are experiencing, and even what we are going to encounter in the future, long before any of this had come to pass

With all that is going on across the planet, it is so easy to allow ourselves to become anxious, depressed, angry, confused, upset, or fearful, and to certainly lack any real peace. No matter how old we are, what kind of person we are, or where we are located, it is extremely unlikely that we will not be impacted in some way by an onslaught of bewildering current events.

A photo of the Earth from outer space with North and South America in view

Yet all of these things happening are not a surprise to God. He knew everything that we are experiencing, and even what we are going to encounter in the future, long before any of this had come to pass. He already knew when the sun would grow hotter and the environment would grow colder. He already knew that people would do become hot and cold toward Himself and each other too. God is fully aware of everything, everywhere, at any and every particular moment. There is nothing hidden or unknown to Him.

Jesus would not make a move until He knew that it was God’s plan. He would also not let any difficult circumstances overcome Him.

In one aspect, the idea that God knows all may seem rather scary. Yet, on the other hand, it is a comforting thought to understand that He is aware of the situation even before it comes into being, and that He is always above any problem that could ever occur. His Son, Jesus, was fully mindful of this fact and readily took advantage of it. Actually, He would never act or speak until His Father told Him what to do or say. Jesus remained totally dependent on Him, knowing that He always had the best things in mind.

This is why we, as believers in Christ, need to place our total trust and reliance on God, our Heavenly Father, as well. Jesus would not make a move until He knew that it was God’s plan. He would also not let any difficult circumstances overcome Him. What was His ‘secret’? Whenever it was possible, He “withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed”(Luke 5:16). He had to spend time alone with His Father. It was His time of fellowship and intimacy which allowed Him to ‘recharge’ Himself spiritually.

A photo of an Asian man kneeling against a wooden pew with his hands folded and eyes closed in prayer

Therefore, if Jesus, the Son of God, had to slip away and seek His Father, we need to do the same. God never intended for us to take on all the stresses of life by ourselves. He wants us, as His children, to take time out to be alone with Him. He desires to hear about our good times and our bad moments. He wants us to tell Him about the problems we are experiencing and the victories achieved through Him.

Never did Jesus allow the religious leaders to bait and trap Him into doing their will. And never did Jesus become caught up with the emotionally charged crowds that followed and frequently surrounded Him.

During these difficult times we are now living in, it is very easy to become immersed in the fluster and fury of the moment. Not only does misery love company, but so does anger, fear, and a whole host of other conditions. But we do not have to allow them to envelop us and hold us captive. Never did Jesus allow the religious leaders to bait and trap Him into doing their will. And never did Jesus become caught up with the emotionally charged crowds that followed and frequently surrounded Him.

A black and white photo of the rear view of a man with his bowed down in a sun lit room

Strength to endure and peace of mind will only come when we do as Jesus did—withdraw from this chaotic world and get alone with God. It need not be in some remote land or on the summit of a high mountain. It can be in our bedroom, bathroom, backyard, a park on the other side of town, or just in the front seat of our vehicle. The point is, that we need to get away from the world and seek the Lord as much as we can.

“And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone” (Matthew 14:23 emphasis added).

[Image credits: Featured image (when available) ; (compilation in clockwise order) J Lloa/pixabay, Peter H/pixabay, Gerd Altmann/pixabay, Defence Imagery,pixabay; WikiImages/pixabay; Sam Rios/unsplash; Falaq Lazuardi/unsplash]