Escaping Not “From,” But “Into”

“And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray and when the evening was come he was there alone.” – Matthew 14:23

There are quite a number of lighthouses located offshore that were built upon either dangerous shoals, reefs, or submerged islands several miles away from land. But at 25 miles from the nearest shore, The Stannard Rock Light (pictured above) is the most distant lighthouse in the United States. Built in 1883, this 100 ft. tower was named after Captain Charles C. Stannard, who first discovered the underwater rock formation in 1835. Because of its remote location, it was designated a “stag light, ” which meant that only men (without families) could serve as light keepers. If someone got sick or there was an emergency of any kind at the light, it would take weeks before anyone could arrive with assistance! After warning mariners of the treacherous reefs for over 100 years, the tower was finally retired in 2008. It is now used for climate research purposes. 

 Have you ever wanted to just get away from it all – I mean, very far away? To escape to somewhere quiet and peaceful where you could take a walk, read a book, or just vegetate without being interrupted? 

 How about escaping to a place where you could pray, meditate, read God’s word, or just marvel at His creation? 

 We all need to take (not make) time to separate ourselves from the “world” and come closer to heaven. A time to not only lay our burdens down at the foot of the cross but to receive new strength from the very throne of God. A place to experience a truly intimate moment with our Heavenly Father. 

At times life can simply become too much. The cares, interactions, expectations and demands of our daily lives can drain us to the point of physical, emotional and even spiritual exhaustion. Stress can easily turn the peaceful, exciting and inspiring wonders around us into a war-like zone where everything is but beautiful. Life becomes more like a static TV Screen; a noise from which we desperately need to escape to alleviate the heaviness.

Jesus identified with every human emotion, including stress. After spending hours teaching, listening, touching, healing and comforting people he longed for a time to just relax. A time to recuperate both physically and emotionally. For Jesus, it was mostly about giving and meeting people’s needs. However, there was no one to give to him and meet his needs, no one except His Father in heaven that is. The difference with Jesus is that he had no problem in stepping away from the stresses of ministry and into a quiet place where all noise could be muffled. That quiet place was in the presence of God the Father.

iluminate

We may be able to temporarily separate ourselves from the world around us, but rarely, if at all possible, do we find a place to be absolutely and completely apart from the noise. Such a place is not to escape from something, but rather into Someone. It is a place where we can leave the world and its noise behind and meet with our Father, just as Jesus did; a time to truly PRAY. Do you know of such a place? A place where you can escape into God’s presence and spend uninterrupted time with Him? Perhaps for many of us, such a place may be a spare room in the house/apartment, a bench at the park, or at a church altar. Regardless, I believe God is calling his children to escape into Him more frequently. If you believe that calling is for you, then take the time to escape. I guarantee life will become a lot less stressful. 

Prayer: Lord, when all around me captures my soul and imprisons my time, my heart and my energies help me find and run to a place far away, where it’s just you and me. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” -Matthew 6:6
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” – Mark 1:35
“But he [Jesus] would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” -Luke 5:16 (ESV)
And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” -Mark 6:31 (NASB)
-ALL SCRIPTURE IS QUOTED FROM THE NIV EXCEPT WHERE SPECIFIED.

Photo Credit
Jesus at Gethsemane – The Passion of the Christ (movie scene)
Note:
This is a revised version of my  devotion, “Take Time to Pray“published on January 2013 by Patch.com
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6 thoughts on “Escaping Not “From,” But “Into”

  1. I like how you said we all need to “take” time to separate from the world and escape into God’s presence. We all make excuses for not having time when actually we’re the ones not making the effort to slow down and listen to what God is saying to each of us. All of us need the refreshment for our weary souls, and that place is in Jesus. It reminds me of this passage: “The one thing I ask of the LORD–the thing I seek most–is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.”-Psalm 27:4 Thank you for this post Joe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, April. Everyone needs to escape occasionally. Unfortunately, many escape into the wrong things/places. Only in God’s presence can we find true refreshment for our weary souls. May the Lord grant you the blessing of escaping and being totally refreshed!

      Like

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