Very Early in the Morning

  • Leviticus 1:1-3:17
  • Mark 1:29-2:12
  • Psalm 35:17-28
  • Proverbs 9:13-18

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Mark 1:35

It is my belief that Mark wrote this verse to show each of us that if Jesus needed alone time, so do I. So do you, my friend. But its hard to find that time isn’t it? Between the chaos of raising kids, work and other activities we may be involved in, taking a time out, SEEMS selfish.

OH but wait, This is starting of to sound like a 2019 journal! That’s right……we’re in 2021 and just survived 2020. You may have had quite a bit of alone time over the past 12 months….in the form of shut-downs and or quarantine. Maybe more than you thought you needed or wanted. How are you doing? Someone who followed me the other day, is in the middle of a shut-down….my guess is that this is day 4? How are you holding up?

Either decade, this post is for you, my friend, because we’re going to talk about Jesus! Jesus had to go off to pray to gather himself together, lets meet with him here, while it is still dark. Jesus had been in Capernaum with his friends at the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was sick, they told Jesus about it, and Jesus healed her. Well, word spread and…..

32That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon possessed. 33The whole town gathered at the door 34and Jesus healed many who had various diseases.

Mark 1:32-34

It must have been quite a party right? Jesus became very popular, very fast. He had cast out demons and cured diseases. That’s what we want right? The miracle? The answer? The fix to our problem? I know I do.

I have had family members who fought addiction. Two members of my family have struggled with drugs and gambling but now seem to be in remission. My mom was an alcoholic and smoked cigarettes her whole life until she died an early death due to a massive stroke that came after many small warning strokes. I “32brought to Jesus all the sick and demon possessed“. So, why were two healed and one wasn’t? It just doesn’t seem fair. Being present when “34Jesus healed (my) many who had various diseases” was like a miracle! A miracle that I thought would never come! The gratitude and joy that I still feel to this day, is overwhelming!

So you can imagine the celebration going as the “33whole town gathered at the door,” The miracle maker was here! Aunt Lucy is cured! Cousin Susie is her old self again! Uncle John came home! The crowds gathered because they wanted more and more healings and miracles! Simon and Andrew, James and John were now local heroes for bringing Jesus to town. These outcast fisherman had finally made something of themselves by bringing in Jesus!

But then, Jesus snuck away, in the early morning. Our local heroes became panicked and went looking for Jesus saying, “Everyone is looking for you!” Where are you?

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.

Mark 1:38

Jesus (and his friends also) had become extraordinarily popular in Capernaum, but he wasn’t interested in popularity. He came to proclaim the Kingdom of God to all of Israel. He came to preach and teach first, the miracles come as a result of the teaching. Think about it like this, God placed a God shaped hole in each of us, and the only thing that will make us whole is God in the form of Jesus. When we turn our lives over to him, seek his face through his word on a daily basis, he WILL fill that spot and miracles will happen. Until we do that, we will keep seeking to fill it with food, drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, work, exercise, relationships with people…something to make us feel complete. I promise you, from the experience of my own addictions, the only thing that will fill that spot is God. That’s it.

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!

Mark 1:40-41

Dear Lord, I come to you today to thank you for healing me of my own afflictions which separate me from those I love. I pray that you continue to fill that God shaped hole in my heart every day with you, so that I can be loved and love others like only you can. I pray for those struggling with illness and demons that are separating them from you and their community. Help all of us to know that we can come to you , JUST AS WE ARE, and that you will reach out your hand and touch us. Teach me Lord, preach to me, Lord, show me the way. In Jesus name. Amen.

Do you have a special place that you go to pray every day? Share with me where that place is.

Are you filling the God shaped hole in your heart with something other than God?

Are you afraid of going to God in “your current situation”? Trust him today, he already sees and wants you to come to him just as you are.

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