Posted by: mikenicholsblog | May 30, 2012

follow His lead

You’ve been there. A long day of work, surrounded by people and not much down time for you. To top it off there are lots of needs around you, and when others have needs, it is just a given that you should respond (translated, what can you do for them). And besides the weariness of the day’s work and needs of the people around you, there are some self-centered companions in your midst. Nobody really asks how you are feeling (translated, nobody really cares), even though there are some great personal issues that are on your mind. Now at the end of your full to overflowing day, what should you do? My normal response after a day like this would be to collapse in my chair with the remote control  and spend a few hours of “me” time. The only way I want to answer my cell phone is if my wife, daughter or Jesus is calling. I bet you have had a day just like this. I have let my mind focus this week on what Jesus did after an extremely stressful day.

After getting away with His disciples, Jesus is confronted by a mass of people. We speak of the feeding of the 5,000, but that was just the men. Add the women and children who were undoubtedly there, and think of the potential crowd that was following after Jesus. He taught and healed and fed the audience. The heart of Christ was compassion on the crowd while His disciples wanted to send them away by late afternoon. He also was dealing with the loss of the man who baptized Him, John the Baptist. There can be no question that the load on God’s Son was pretty heavy. He obviously handled the day’s events with great patience and undeniable compassion. By comparison, any hard day that you and I experience pales in comparison this particular day for Christ. I bet He would have answered His cell phone (if they would have been invented) after a day like this. But it is what Christ did after the feeding of the 5,000 that has me thinking.

When the people finished eating, Christ sent the disciples away. He headed up the mountain to pray (and I wanted the remote control). He was alone on the mountain at evening, a period that covers from late afternoon to shortly after sunset. Studying this event informs us that He went to the disciples walking on the sea during the fourth watch of the night (3a.m.-6 a.m.). That tells me that He spent hours on the mountain communing with the Father. My mind has been questioning what He prayed about. Was it the crowd and their needs? Was it His disciples and their lack of understanding? Could it have been the weight of the cross He would eventually carry? I don’t exactly comprehend what He may have prayed about and for so long. But I know that God the Son felt the need to spend time with God the Father on this night. And I too often go for the remote control after a hard day.

If I may, let me be personal. You and I may have never met, but I care about you. And please don’t take my words to mean that you shouldn’t chill out after a hard day. But for Christ on this night there was a greater need than putting life on remote-control. He needed to talk to the Father.  And I believe that at least part of His communion was about people, maybe His disciples, maybe the crowd. There is someone in your life that desperately needs you to intercede to the Father for them. Granted it is hard work, but God honors a praying heart. I find it too easy to breathe obligatory prayers heavenward, without communing with my Father. And you may also!  Christ spent time on that mountain praying for a reason, and we can only imagine the benefits of that night.

I will always like my remote control. But someone needs me to be praying for their needs. And who is the Father challenging you to pray for? Take a look at Christ on that mountain, follow His lead by spending time with the Father, and be used for eternal good.

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