And it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.

Luke 6: 12

 

Jesus was under the sort of attack and dealing with the kind of life stress that most of us think we know well, but, in fact, we have absolutely no idea what it was like. I am not trying to suggest that our issues, trials, concerns, and struggles aren’t real and important; however, Jesus was facing the opposition of Satan and of all of the forces of evil that he could muster, and they knew that they needed to defeat Him in order to win their fight for control of this world and for all of us, too. Evil was very focused when it came to attacking and opposing Christ.

 

The real story here is in what Jesus does when faced with this sort of concerted assault; His first reaction is to continue going about the business at hand; in this case that was healing a man’s withered hand. After He takes care of the immediate, Jesus goes to a place where He can focus on a very deep and sincere conversation with God. In this time of challenge, struggle, and stress Jesus does the thing that I know that I don’t do so well; He starts to talk. When I am undergoing stress and am facing uncertainty, I tend to get very quiet; I don’t talk to my co-workers, friends, wife, or God; instead, I tend to just let the issues burrow in under my skin, and I allow them to tunnel all the way to my heart where they start to impact my ability to think and to act clearly.

 

For me this silence becomes a form of unhealthy introversion, not of introspection, I move away from the love and the help that God provides and that He has placed into my life in friends, family, and His living body, the church. On the other hand, Jesus is the model that I need to look toward. When confronted with stresses beyond imagining, He went to a place of quiet where He could focus on the conversation that He needed to have with God, and then Jesus poured out His heart to the Father, and He spent time listening to the responses. Christ then continues to be open and to communicate; He goes to His friends, His followers, and He brings a select group of the closest of them into an intimate discussion of what He is seeking to do and about the opposition that He is facing.

 

 God did not design us to function in this life on our own, and He does not intend for us to go through any of it in isolation. The Lord wants to talk with us as we face every aspect of living, and He has placed a number of people around us to share it all with, too. The enemy wants us to try to go it all alone and in silence, for that moves us away from God and from the strength giving relationship that He has with us, and it separates us from the mutual support that He provides for us through people. My prayer for this day is that I will stay open and communicative regardless of what comes my way.