August 8

Matthew 14:22-27

“And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone…” vs. 23

Those who are more introverted in their relationship to the external world are likely to identify with Jesus as they read in scripture of his desire to be alone. The world was changing. John the Baptist had been brutally murdered. Decisions about continuing his ministry needed to be made. Some people love to process problems by talking about them with others. The conversation helps to clarify their minds. But others, like Jesus, crave to be alone–they need time to think. What Jesus needed most was time for prayer. He had a beautiful setting. The last rays of the sun would have been illuminating the eastern shore of the sea while evening winds were rushing down the western hills. As he sat alone darkness enveloped him and the Spirit of God gave him clarity and direction. As the hours passed he began to feel recharged as the energy of God’s presence filled his heart and renewed his compassion. Moments like this are important for all people, not just introverts, but too often we don’t take the time or find a place. Many remain unpracticed in the art of meditation and spirits can be drained of their zeal and enthusiasm for ministry. Being alone is nothing to be feared–and in our crowded world it’s a way to find refreshment and peace. If it’s a faith practice that is alien to us, it’s never too late to start!

Thought for the Day: When do I most need to be alone?

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