So, what do you do when you are in the middle of a huge problem, hurt or crisis and you know that you not only have to deal with whatever that is, but you have a whole day of stuff waiting on you after you’re done with it? I don’t know if you’ve ever had a day like that… a day where you start out covered up and don’t have anywhere to go but deeper in… How do you deal with your emotions, (whether its stress, disappointment, frustration or anger) to a point where you’re not only ready to keep going, but ready to serve?
This week I read a story about Jesus that was so candid, personal and sweet that I felt indelibly connected to Him not only as my God, but as a person as well… Matthew 14 tells us about the murder of John the Baptist at the hands of Herod. When John’s disciples found out, they took the body, buried it and then went to tell Jesus. So, how would Jesus respond to the execution of his relative, friend and fellow soldier in the good fight? Jesus had said earlier that “Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.” In the next breath He said that from John’s time until now, “…the kingdom has been forcefully advancing.” For Jesus, this wasn’t just the death of a family member and friend… these were the dark tidings that His own time was coming soon. How would our Lord respond to such disturbing, sad and ominous news?
Matthew 14:13 says, “When Jesus heard what happened, He withdrew by boat to a solitary place.” Jesus got into a boat, went out on the water, rowed to a lonesome place like some little-known cove where He could be sure of privacy and grieved. You just know it was a time of tears, prayers and songs where Jesus went from the pain of loss to the joy of knowing John would be home. It was a time for Him to reflect on the fact that He too would meet a violent death. And it was a time for Him to get ready because His day wasn’t over yet…
See, verse 14 tells us that when Jesus landed, all the crowds were waiting on Him. Matthew says that Jesus had compassion on them and spent the rest of the day healing their sick. Can you believe it? Jesus doesn’t take days to mourn… He jumps right back in because “The kingdom is forcefully advancing.” How did He do it? -He got into a boat, withdrew to a solitary place and met with the Father. Jesus unloaded His hurt, grief, sadness and fears about the future and then became filled up so that He was not only able to face the day, but to have compassion on the crowds and serve them!
That’s the kind of heart I want… the kind that knows how to get alone with the Father, give Him all my hurts and burdens so that I am free and filled up to face and fight whatever the day may bring… in short, a heart like Jesus’ heart.