“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.” “And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.” Mark 1:35; 6:31-32
“And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, but he said to them, ‘I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.’” “On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart.” Luke 4:42-43; 9:10
Streaked and flocked clouds, suspended, hold their shape in predawn stillness, hovering. The measure of time passing is the new contours seen, shadows and shapes increasingly distinct in the brightening light. The rising sun lights from underneath and behind, reflecting, warming to the slightest movement, adjusting to new patterns. Color blushes at first, then emerges.
The longer we soak, the more of Jesus we take into our layers. He changes the ways we think, and feel, about things. The longer we soak, the deeper and broader our prayers. We learn to ask specifically, anticipate expectantly, and give God the greater glory when He answers. The longer we soak, the more visible our immanent Lord is before our eyes and the more palatable for our hungry soul. We understand better His infinite attributes and take in more of His character. The longer we soak, the more able we are to recognize our unholiness, the more deeply we are convicted and desire His perfection. We take time to confess known sins and are more willing to surrender.
Do we treat our quiet time with the Lord as a drive through meal, or a feast? Is it an item on a list of many to check off and leave behind? Do we skim the first paragraph, scratch the surface, and keep our communion superficial? If we do not soak, we will never be saturated with Jesus, never permeated with His mannerisms and thought. We will say our hellos and too quick a goodbye, and never get acquainted with His wisdom-gaining, answer-procuring, attitude-adjusting, or life-changing ways.
In these troubling times, what is important? We allot time and attention to our determined priorities. Are work, social media, news-gathering, or any type of ‘self-care’ taking precedence over daily lingering with Jesus? If our desire is the biblical admonition to fear the Lord and become like Him, we cannot skimp in the secret place of communion. We must stay until His voice is applied as instruction, His light colors our countenance, prayer is more listening than talking, the Word catches our breath and we bow in awed worship, or genuine repentance. How will we gain the mind of Christ, and have ready His grace for those who need hope, if we do not soak in our Savior? (Genesis 17:22; Deuteronomy 13:4; 1 Peter 3:15)
Lord Jesus, renew my mind and transform my heart as I soak in You. Equip me daily for Your will. (Romans 12:2)