“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).
There are many references to Jesus disappearing to pray in lonely places, the wilderness, or the desert. Often those words interchange in different translations.
Being an Aussie I really relate to these desert places.
Our family has done much traveling through our country and driven through some very remote places. We know the toll that weather, loneliness, and unpreparedness has had on many tourists that travel through our deserts. It is not a place to be taken lightly, as it strips people to their core.
The first people in our nation, the aborigines, thrived in our deserts with life skills taught through generations to survive the harshness. Many went through an initiation that involved “going walkabout” on their own to embrace the lessons of the land to survive.
Often times our illnesses feel like we’re “going walkabout”–being initiated in our own desert of loneliness, harshness, and dryness.
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus chose the desert to go to pray and spend time with His Father? He chose the remote places.
Maybe part of that was to relate to the Israelites, who spent 40 years roaming the desert. Surely it relates to all of us, who experience a desert of some sort. It may be a lack of health, family, friendships, finances, or comforts.
Yet, this is where Jesus regularly sought time with His Father.
Here I am in my own little desert. I haven’t chosen it, yet if it’s where Jesus chose to commune most closely with His Father, it’s good enough for me too! What an opportunity to commune with God, just as Jesus did.
Will I take this opportunity to grasp this desert time, this “going walkabout” to grow what He’s given me? not only to survive, but to thrive?
Prayer: Lord, I often feel like I’m in a desert… lonely, dry, and desperate for You. Help me to see that the desert is exactly where Jesus chose to be with You. Thank You for this opportunity to commune with You and to grow. Amen.
About the Author:
Kerryn Wright lives with her family amongst the gum trees in South Australia. She was a special education teacher prior to chronic illnesses. Her husband is carer for three of their family, who have chronic illnesses and disabilities. God has always guided them through life’s challenges, often in surprising ways.
How does the desert relate to your experiences now? How can this facilitate a more precious prayer life with your Father, as Jesus had?
Spend some quiet time with God during this touching video. Even if walking about is difficult for you to do physically, nothing need to hold you back from enjoying His glory. -Lisa