Rest in the quiet place with Christ
With our commitments to family, friends, work, ministry and church, we can all too easily miss the one thing that is above them all - Jesus!
Have you ever gotten so busy that you just can't seem to squeeze in everything that you need to do? Or maybe you are doing it all but life has become a never ending treadmill where one week blurs quickly into the next? Well maybe it's time for you to 'take a moment' and catch your breath. After all, even a sentence has a full stop!
Recently I took a walk up the Malvern Hills. At first it was just a walk (which I thought I really didn't have time for and should've been doing something much more productive instead!).
Yet along the way I found myself re-discovering the beauty of Gods creation - wild flowers, trees, birdsong, and the breathtaking views. I could see clearly for miles. The air seemed purer, my mind felt rested so I sat down to enjoy the moment away from life's busyness.
In Matthew chapter 17, Jesus realised his friends needed 'a moment' and so He took them up a mountain for a walk. Life can 'bog' us down or even overwhelm us at times with the many commitments and responsibilities that we seem to gather. And when we're rushing around from one thing to the next we develop 'trench' vision.
Much like when soldiers during the war spent their days in the trenches, heads down, busy working. Their vision became limited and in their short sightedness, all they could see was the trench they currently lived in. They lost sight of the bigger picture and of the life changing purpose they were serving.
On top of the mountain Jesus' friends now saw Moses & Elijah, and Peter excitedly wanted to build three tabernacles in honour of them and of Jesus. Oh how short sighted Peter had become! That in his busy world, Peter had relegated King Jesus to an equal footing with Moses & Elijah!!
The rules and responsibilities of life (Moses represented the law), and ministry and 'spiritual' commitments (Elijah represented the prophets) had morphed into equal importance jostling for priority.
Maybe in our busy times of family, friends, work, ministry and church, we too easily miss the one thing that is above them all - Jesus! It's when we take that moment out to be alone with Jesus we realise a fresh that He is Lord.
That He alone is our purpose, our source, our strength. That in His presence is power, peace and clarity into our busy world.
On the mountain, God interrupted Peters suggestion by declaring "This is My Son, My Beloved, with Whom I am delighted. Listen to Him!".
When we take that moment out to listen to Him, we may just discover that our order of priorities, or what we think needs our immediate attention, simply doesn't. On that mountain, Peter, James & John saw Jesus transfigured before them and fell face down.
They saw Jesus, not merely as the teacher they had become so familiar with, but as the almighty, sovereign God in all His glory. The Lord, that there is no other name higher. No other priority or commitment greater.
Matthew 17:8 And when they raised their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
Whether your 'mountain' is your garden, conservatory or a corner in an M&S cafe, find your place and get alone with him. Away from everyone else. Away from your commitments and responsibilities. And allow yourself to see no one but Jesus.
Jesus had taken his friends up the mountain to get them away from the crowds below, away from friends, family & ministry. So that they, and we today, would be reminded of who He is and whose we are.
He knows about our busy schedule, our family responsibilities, our work & ministry commitments - and just maybe we need to let a few things go, or re-arrange some stuff, or even say 'no'. But we need His viewpoint on all that we do and all that we give our time. We need to "Listen to Him".
Mark 6:31b "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”