Sunday, January 17, 2010


A couple weeks ago, the Lord laid it on me to study Luke... for an unrevealed stretch of time. Maybe for this whole year. Not exactly certain why, and it's rare that I'm put under that sort of pressure to study something "Gospel" or "NT", since I'm usually buried in prophets and psalms and history. A few small pieces have buzzed out at me, but the other day one jumped out and really hit me.

Luke 5:15-16 -- Amplified. But so much the more the news spread abroad concerning Him, and great crowds kept coming together to hear [Him] and to be healed by Him of their infirmities.

But He Himself withdrew [in retirement] to the wilderness (desert) and prayed.

This reveals one of my besetting sins. Wanting to keep jumping in to help people walk through, or be healed of, their "infirmities" -- body, soul, or spirit.

But Jesus withdrew Himself to the wilderness, and prayed.

Oh, my!! What a concept. Withdraw and pray, without jumping in and "fixing" -- controlling? -- "helping" -- doing what's "obviously" needed. [As my dear husband has described my knee-jerk responses to many crises ... throwing myself on other people's grenades.]

What a daily struggle for me! Withdrawing to pray, seek my Father's heart, hear His clear instructions, touch [spiritually speaking] only those He indicates ... even if I don't know how they will respond. Realizing it's not my business to know the ultimate result. My only "business" is to do what He calls me to do. Period.

And how would I know what He calls me to do? Listen.

How to hear His voice? Pray.

How to pray in that way? Withdraw to a "wilderness", "desert",
quiet room, closet.

To "Be" Jesus.

My prayer: "Come, Lord Jesus, fill me, and give me the courage and discipline to follow Your pattern."


Joyful Catholic said...

Ah yes, same goes for me. You could say I've become, of late, a 'suburban hermit.' That's why we now have a prayer room in the center of our house. It's also why I love going to the Adoration Chapel at SRB - blessed silence. When we make the effort to 'go,'even in our hearts, to the "hermitage within" (a great book BTW)we receive such graces! Silence is not only golden, it's SACRED. It's why I also love to go to the Carmelite Monastery north of Lincoln. Having just been there this past Friday was pure heaven and why next Friday I'm going again! When you can hear your heart beat in a large still sanctuary, or a small chapel, and listen to His heart beating, too, that's when you know you've reached the 'desert.' It's amazing how much one can hear Him say, when we not only pray but "shut up" and let Him "shut out" the world. Interesting, Greek does not have a word for "Obey." "Obey" is a Latin word which means "to listen." Scholars tell us that the Old Testament concept of obedience contains both the sense of intelligent listening and willingness to submit to the will of God,(with humility and docility) that is heard in this way. And the listening and submitting are done with the knowledge that God has intervened in history, set the people free and invited them into a Covenant(not a contract)of love. A contract is 'economy' and is not intimate, whereas a 'covenant' is 'family' and very intimate. So leaving, withdrawing to the desert, even in your heart, is sweet obedience and we remember that to 'obey is better than to sacrifice.' All the "doing" "giving" and "helping" is wonderful, but not when it puts the Lord "on hold." That's then the opposite. That's disobedience and could put our own souls even in jeopardy, for the Devil doesn't sleep either, and we can be so easily led astray when we're "stressed out." Our Father always speaks, but so many times He has to bellow or "thunder" to wake us up. I think He most prefers to 'whisper' because that means we are close enough to His Face,even to His lips, and can then really hear ... "only Him."

Niki said...

Seems to be a familiar failure. I struggle with the same issues and seem to make only minute progress. I appreciate your insights.