Summary: How do I balance activity with solitude?
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE
It is said that Andrew Bonar, a great man of prayer, had three rules: (1) Not to speak to any man before speaking to Jesus; (2) Not to do anything with his hands until he had been on his knees; (3) Not to read the papers until he had read his Bible. - (Keith L. Brooks, Essential Themes, (Moody Press, Chicago; 1974), p. 6)
After an extremely busy day in Capernaum we find Jesus rising early the next morning (probably between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m.) to spend time with His Father. He might have been physically exhausted but He saw a need for spiritual renewal more than physical rest. At a time when others might seek rest and relaxation He found a quiet isolated spot where He could receive guidance from His Father. He knew that if He was going to meet men and be giving out He must first meet with the Father.
Simply to read the record of the things that happened at Capernaum is to see that Jesus was left with no time alone. Now Jesus knew well that he could not live without God; that if he was going to be forever giving out, he must be at least sometimes taking in; that if he was going to spend himself for others, he must continually summon spiritual reinforcements to his aid. He knew that he could not live without prayer. He knew that if he was to meet men, he must first meet God. If prayer was necessary for Jesus, how much more must it be necessary for us?
When the disciples woke up they went to find Jesus because the crowds were already gathering wanting to be healed. It appears that Simon Peter had big plans for Jesus that day. He interrupted Jesus’ prayer time and said, “Lord everybody is looking for you.” Peter made the same mistake many of us make. He wanted to plan the daily schedule according to what the people wanted to do rather than what the Father wanted. They were probably disappointed when Jesus told them He was not going back into the city, but on to the next town. His main ministry was to preach the gospel and not to heal the sick. From there He set out on a preaching tour in the synagogues throughout Galilee.
Jesus found it necessary to balance activity with solitude and time with the Father. How do I balance activity with solitude? What steps do I need to take to have a more balanced life? There are priorities in life, and my heavenly Father is the only one who can adequately arrange them.