On this gray rainy morning I read in Luke that at daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary, secluded location, perhaps in the nearby desert. I picture him sitting outside somewhere just a ways out from the town and all the people he loved, the ones he came to serve. He was in the midst of an exhausting but powerful ministry and it must have felt overwhelming at times. But he knew himself and he knew what kept him going. Time away from his work talking and being with His Father seemed to be an important part of Jesus’ ministry.
Just the night before, he had attended to all those who had been brought to him who were sick. He laid his hands on them and they were healed. With great compassion he had rebuked demons and commanded with authority that they be silent. He must have spent every ounce of strength that night. But the next morning, early, he found a quiet place to replenish his soul.
I can feel an overwhelming exhaustion at times. Not necessarily from being out in ministry like Jesus, but just from living. From listening and talking and writing and doing the work I’m called to do.
But this morning I come to my quiet place, groggily listening for the birds who are greeting the day and noticing that a gentle breeze is sifting through the emerging leaves in the tree tops outside my window. The raindrops are splashing on my little deck offering their quiet plopping, doing what they do, nourishing and replenishing the land.
I am here in my quiet place feeding my soul, by remembering the hope I carry and by welcoming in my Father God. This gift of faith sits in my chest and I cherish it, longing for it to grow, to matter, to comfort and reassure me when the internal battle gets loud and threatens to overpower the growing seed of faith deep inside.
The loudness of the world can squash the deeper things that matter. It makes a way for numbness and fear. But coming to this quiet place I am reminded, once again (will I ever be free of the need?) that my Father sees and knows all, is with me, and wants me to be me. My weariness is born of my continual need to be reminded and assured. So every day I come and feed on the richest of food, the kind that nourishes my soul. In Psalm 63 David says, that in the midst of remembering and praising God, he will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods. Worship fills up the empty places that threaten to starve us and render us as passive, broken, or unusable vessels.
But there is this quiet place that draws us and allows us to come empty, worried, and unsure, to open the door on a full-flavored feast ( do you smell a roast beef baking?) a place to sing in the shadow of His wing and a strong right hand to hold us warmly to himself. Here. Today. Now.
If you are one who longs to “eat and be satisfied,” I encourage you to pick up your Bible, turn to Psalm 63, Romans 8, Ephesians 1, or the book of John and begin your feast. Write down a few words that seem to call out to you. Let them simmer for a bit. Prepare to be satisfied!