WHERE DO WE FIND SOLACE
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35
Where do you go to find peace... to find solace? Where is your place that allows you to take a moment and collect your thoughts and have some real one on one conversations with God? I know that I have talked about it before that one of my places of solitude is driving around in my car. I know that I have spent times on my knees in the darkness of my office with just music playing in the background to help me stop focusing on my stuff and focusing on God's voice. I know that I have spent many a days just sitting on the beach late at night or early in the morning listening to the waves crash on the shoreline and realizing the power of God's creation. The beauty of His masterpiece as the sun either rises or fades and allows us to realize how not in control we really are in this life. I know that there are moments where my thoughts are so loud that I have to remove myself from certain situations in order that I can truly spend time reflecting and not lashing out in anger. I know that I continue to find space to get alone with God... and my question to you is where do you find solace?
Finding solace always comes in the midst of the moments in our lives that completely drive our emotions to the brink and beyond. Whether it is moments that cause us stress or frustration or sadness, we are searching for the comfort that only spending time alone with
God can give us. We have to come to a point on our journey where we have to take the time and realize that God does want to have a relationship with us and wants to connect with us to provide us peace and joy, but we cannot expect that we will receive those things when the
only time we communicate is when we are in desperate need for a solution of a situation that has gotten way out of control. God has challenged us to find a time to have Sabbath and to walk away from the stresses of this world on a weekly basis and spend time with Him. He has called us not to be so tied to our schedules and routines that we leave out the necessary connection that we all need to refuel our hearts and restore our minds. Solace is an opportunity for us to step out of the madness and step into the ever-loving arms of God. And this is not admitting that we cannot handle the situation, but it is a healthy way to allow us to recognize that we need help when it comes to navigating the world. When we are successfully able to develop that time to seek peace... to seek a place to find solace, we will begin to see the true joy in life that we have been missing. Because of the stress that we have allowed to steal God's place in our lives, we continue to question our own purpose and that leads us to question the reality of God's plan all over again.
As we look at the scripture for today, we are watching as Jesus has been in the city and has been healing those that were in need of healing. As we would all expect, as soon as the word got out that something was happening, everyone came running to have Jesus help them in their own situations. Watching this scene unfold, I cannot even imagine how draining that was for Jesus. I know that He was about doing the will of God, but He also realized that He needed to go and find a place of solace. Multiple times throughout the scriptures, we see Jesus stepping away and spending time with God. Even in the beginning of His ministry, Jesus spent 40 days in preparation and fasting. But on this day, He stepped away from the busy schedule and found a place where He could just find solitude and pray. He chose a time that most people were still asleep, and He went to a place where no one had the opportunity to disturb Him. Yes, the disciples woke up in a panic when they could not find Him, but how much more does it speak for our need for solace if the Son of God stepped out and spent that valuable time with His Father? These words that we read today should be on our hearts and minds as we seek to find that space and opportunity to be with God as well. We should make every effort to set that time first and then look at the rest of our day. We should not be giving God our leftovers after we are completely sucked dry, but our best as we begin and end each day. Jesus set for us an example to find that place and I hope and pray that we take advantage of His example.
In closing today, I just want to let you know that I am praying for you and I ask that you pray for me as well. In our prayers, I am asking that we find a way to slow down and remember what truly is important in this world. Our time is valuable, but not if it is wasted only checking
the boxes and not finding true joy. We are called to step into this space with God and when we get there, God is willing to help us find peace. God is willing to take the time and share
with us an intimate opportunity that can change our lives forever. And please know that I am speaking to the person in the mirror every day, if we fail to plan to find this place of solace, we cannot be surprised when our plans fail and we do not find peace. There is a reason that on the seventh day God rested, and it was not because the Almighty God needed a break, but it was an example to us all that even God knows the importance of rest and rejuvenation. So I hope and pray that today you will find that time to give to yourself with God. If you truly love your family, friends and your life, you will take the time and effort to find a way to slow down, if just for a moment, and give God the opportunity to speak with you. I know that I am still working on that in my life. I know that I have not gotten it perfect and I probably never will, but I am striving and challenging myself to find the time if I truly want to help others to find solace as well. May God continue to bless your day as we all seek an opportunity to find true peace.