“Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”
“For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.”
How long has it been since you’ve allowed yourself to go to a desolate place?
Since you have removed yourself and rested? Spent some sweet, lingering, one-on-one time with Jesus. I’m not talking about a quick reading and prayer time on the go but a meeting place where time stops, you come with your gas tank on empty and sit as He fills you to the brim with His goodness. Where you rest at his feet as you lay down everything before Him and soak in His glory as He shows you again His love. Where you can allow Him to lay His hand on your head and cast His grace onto your heart. Where you can let all your burdens spill out before Him and allow Him to bear it all up for you. You can rest a head on His knee and bask in the shadow of his mercy and care that is just.for.you. He then sings you the lullaby of who you are and why He has named you. You can walk away replenished and ready to walk firmly with the knowledge of who your God is and why he sent you, burdenless as you have left every single weight and care behind where they belong. With him.
I find myself waiting far too long to come. Almost like a wild animal backed into a corner as the caretakers lay hold of them to implement care, I find myself crazy eyed and focused on my plans of what I should do next, where I should go, and what still needs to be done. I am crazed with my burdens and tasks and in need of a reset so desperately in order to see the full picture once again. I need a desolate place.
I find it so fitting that just after this phrase in Matthew, Jesus asks the disciples to feed the 5,000. Many times Jesus calls us away because we need to be refilled in order to give out. We don’t even realize that we are empty. We have nothing left but fumes yet we give it out like candy. Hoping against hope that we have cake instead of crumbs to share.
We cannot give what we do not have.
“And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
“But he answered them “YOU give them something to eat.”
These people were in a desolate place but not of the kind where they knew where to go and how to receive what they need. They needed Jesus. The disciples were still very unsure of themselves and what they had. They felt so inadequate. They lacked the faith that Jesus would provide. But Jesus was asking them to step out in faith. He wanted to use THEM by his power and might to provide for those who were hungry and in need.
It is so very much our temptation to doubt what we have that God has given us. Just a few loaves and fishes. So miniscule it’s almost nothing in comparison to all the mouths to feed. How can that make a difference or even a dent? We feel many times that we barely have enough faith for ourselves much less others….but God is so good isn’t He? He has not given you something just so you can feast alone, but share.
I remember very well in science class…”matter can neither be created nor destroyed.” Something cannot come from nothing. However our lack of faith comes when we apply earthly, physical rules to a cosmic creator God. We think only of what we already have. His perspective transcends to what he can create. The rules do not apply to Him.
“Love does not divide, it multiplies.”
That very phrase was spoken to me by a dear person in my life when I was expecting another child. I couldn’t imagine how I could be enough. How I could mother another as I should when I felt divided and spread thin. But isn’t that just the way our God works? When there is not enough, He is enough. And not JUST enough, but abundantly beyond all we could ever ask or think with baskets and baskets spilling over to send home with others.
But what we have to give can only be found in the desolate place. It is so easy in this day to be so distracted and overworked that we don’t recognize our own warning signals on the gas gauge.
What are your signals?
Do you have a gauge?
Do you monitor it?
Learn yourself and your empty gauge warnings because we aren’t meant to ride life on “E” but be full to the brim with excess to share.
So find yourself a desolate place.
He will give you just what you need. It will be perfect. And as you parcel it out with his leading, watch it multiply. It will ripple and overflow into your life and others. It will be just enough.