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 this time in His life 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 control of 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, for 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
the people of His community of faith. With Christ all things are possible, and
with His body we can be sustained through it all.