For the past month I’ve been reading in the book of Luke. I came across Luke 5:16 “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” This verse amazed me! In the midst of his fame, Jesus left the popularity and the crowd of people who were amazed by his works, to be alone with God. I started to think about where my focus was in life. Whether my focus was on man or on the Son of Man, Jesus. Many times I make up excuses for being too busy to read my Bible or spend alone time with God so I try to wind it into my daily activities and while there is nothing wrong with that, I realized that that was not what Jesus did. He did not find times in his daily schedule to fit God in, He found times to fit the crowd into his time with God. It’s easy to put your focus on crowds, popularity, and the things that give us instant pleasure, but my challenge to you would be to make God the center of your focus and to fit your daily schedule around your time with God.
Last month my wife’s older sister had a stroke that paralyzed the left half of her body. We, her extended family saw God’s mercies in various forms: an amazing recovery of partial mobility in the affected leg and arm, the kindness of people from her church who visited her and how much that meant to her, the activation of our own compassion, the answered prayers some of you prayed. We also had opportunity to feel frustrated: medical complications including an infection that required a hospital move and a second surgery, facility transfers that were delayed because of an ambulance not arriving, insurance not being as cooperative as we had hoped, and the general disruptions to our lives. In this world we have trouble. A small reminder (some people have lots more trouble than this) of two truths: This world is broken, and God’s grace shines through it.