Do You Have a Desolate Place?
Mark 1:35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Jesus had just begun His ministry. He had already been baptized by His cousin, John the Baptist, tempted by Satan in the wilderness, and pursued by multitudes for healing. In fact, the evening right before this verse “the whole city was gathered together” (verse 33) where Jesus was staying, bringing Him “all who were sick or oppressed by demons” (verse 32).
I’ve had seasons in my life when I’ve been busy, but I’ve never had a whole city waiting outside my door for me to help them. I’ve never been so busy that I couldn’t be alone for a couple minutes.
Jesus had barely begun His ministry, and yet right from the start He set an important precedent: time alone with His Father. He didn’t allow a long night or a difficult schedule to separate Him from this special time of fellowship.
This verse is such a rebuke to me. Many times, I view my time with God as something to fit around my schedule. When my schedule is full, that time just doesn’t happen. Even worse, sometimes when my schedule is completely empty, I still look for useless things to fill the time with instead of spending it with God.
But this verse encourages me to stop, take a serious look at my schedule, and intentionally pursue this time. No matter how busy I am, no matter how lazy I am, no matter how surrounded I am by people, I cannot compromise my time with my Heavenly Father.
I need to find my own desolate place. I need to get away from the distractions this world surrounds me with. I need to fall down before my Father in prayer.
And I need to do this every day. If Jesus couldn’t begin His day without earnestly seeking His Father, then how much more would I need to?
My days belong to You, Lord;
Each morning when I wake,
Each evening when I’m resting
I live for Your Name’s sake.
Prepare a place for me, Lord,
A place of prayer and peace
To which I may go early
And from my labor cease.
Uphold me by Your mercy
When I am very worn,
And, “rising very early,”
I’ll seek You in the morn.