Posted on January 22, 2014
#38: Creating Time
When our two oldest sons were small, on one exhausted day I’d slipped into the bathroom and locked the door. I sat down on the edge of the tub, wanting just a minute alone. Then I saw two sets of little fingers wiggling under the door and heard a giggled whisper, “We know you’re in there, Mommy!” It’s cute and funny now, but on that day it made me want to cry! Ever been there?
Welcome to Knowing Jesus, our study of Mark’s gospel. I’m glad you’re with me on this journey to learn all we can about the One we hope to be like.
Read Mark 6. Then, if possible, review it once more in a different version.*
In this chapter, we see Jesus at the height of His popularity. With it came heightened pressures. Everywhere He was, people came running with needs, requests, demands. No matter where He went or what solitary place He tried to find (vs. 32), the ever-present crowds clamored for His attention.
In addition, there were personal pains. Jesus’ hometown friends and family had rejected Him (vs. 1-6), leaving Him unable to minister among people He loved dearly. News of John the Baptist’s death left a painful void—and served as a reminder that His own time of suffering was rushing toward Him. And His disciples, His closest companions, were completely clueless at times (vs. 52).
Have you been through such a time,
• When right on the heels of bad news came more bad news?
• When pressures at home and at work seemed overwhelming?
• When demands on your time and energy were unending?
• When your “support system” was not very supportive?
• When plans to get away kept falling through?
Listen friend, Jesus knows all about it. There was no shortage of demands on His time and energy. There was never a point at which everyone was healed, everyone was fully taught, His disciples had it all together—when all the work was done. At times, He simply had to set aside other urgencies and make time for God. Among the many things Jesus created, the most important to Him—and the most challenging—was time with His Father.
If Jesus needed that time, we need it more. No matter what else has to be set aside, we must have the recharging that comes from prayer and time spent in the Bible. It may be hard to make it happen, but it’s vital. (Believe me, If we’re willing to let our time with God be overtaken by life’s pressing needs, satan will be happy to keep those needs coming. He’ll do all he can to interfere, to weaken us by keeping us from the Father.)
How can you create time for God? Set your alarm fifteen minutes earlier, and refuse to hit the snooze button; you’ll live without those few extra minutes of sleep. Go to your car on your lunch break and nibble on a sandwich while you feast on God’s Word. Or skip the last television show of the evening—the one you probably shouldn’t watch anyway. Resolve to do it and commit to it. Within a very short time, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.
As educator Frank Laubach began to develop his personal time with God, he wrote, “I have tasted a thrill in fellowship with God which has made anything discordant with God disgusting. This afternoon the possession of God has caught me up with such sheer joy that I thought I never had known anything like it. God was so close and so amazingly lovely that I felt like melting all over…. My soul feels clean, as new fallen snow…. As I looked at people with a love God gave, they looked back and acted as though they wanted to go with me…. I saw a little of that marvelous pull that Jesus had as He walked along the road day after day ‘God-intoxicated’ and radiant with the endless communion of His soul with God.” (Frank C. Laubach: Man of Prayer, Laubach Literacy International: Syracuse, NY, p.27, 33)
Do you want to be like Jesus? Follow His example and create time for God.
* You’ll be amazed at the little things you notice when you read a version you’re not used to. An easy way to have multiple Bible versions at your fingertips is to download the free app called YouVersion by LifeChurch onto your smart phone, Ipad or computer. At the touch of a button, you’ll have instant access to dozens of versions, devotionals, Bible reading plans, and more. I highly recommend it. Check it out!
© Diane McLoud 2014