In our earlier discussion about Jesus as a caregiver many months ago, we examined how He cared for His mother while He was hanging on the cross.
Today, I'd like us to draw strength from another example of Jesus' caregiving. We'll find it in Mark 1:21-35. I won't print the passage for you--I'll let you locate it in your favorite translation and enjoy it for yourself. But let me key in on a few of the highlights.
Jesus is busy about His personal ministry. He's going into the synagogue and preparing to teach. This is clearly an important task on His heaven-sent agenda.
But then people in need approach Him--mob Him, actually. So He stops what He's doing and addresses them personally. He touches them; He ministers to their spiritual and physical needs. Even when He's exhausted--ready for a good meal and a soft bed--He learns that Peter's mother-in-law has a fever. So He touches her--ministers and provides new strength and healing to her. Which brings on another rush of needy souls.
He's giving and giving and giving some more--for hours on end. Does that sound at all like your life as a caregiver?
Finally, He gets a few precious moments of sleep. It's then that He does something truly surprising. I know I'd sleep in--long and late--in His circumstances. But He doesn't succumb to that temptation. Instead Mark tells us what He does:
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. Mark 1:35 (ESV)
As much as He needed physical refreshment in this scene from the Gospels, His soul needed spiritual refreshment--He needed the joy and intimacy of time spent alone in communion with His Heavenly Father. And it took some planning and effort to make it happen. I'm guessing the "desolate place" wasn't just around the corner from the home where He was staying.
I'm pretty sure we need the same--perhaps even more than Jesus did. Time to be in a good "desolate place." Alone time. Down time. Captured, even snatched and planned for in advance. Time in close fellowship with the God Who loves us, Who nurtures our souls, Who refreshes our weary bodies, Who cares for our loved ones more than we ever could. Time we make the concerted effort to protect despite our pressing obligations elsewhere.
Yes, I believe this is another key lesson for us to glean from Jesus, the Caregiver. Even if it means dragging our weary bones out of bed in the pre-dawn hours if that's the only way we can spend time in touch with our Father in Heaven. (You'd have to know me to know what an effort that is!)
Blessings and prayers,
© 2012, Julie-Allyson Ieron. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, email: email@example.com