June 27, 2007 • By Ed Wrather
Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. - Mark 1:35 NKJV.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV.
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” - Matthew 4:4 NKJV.
In the Philippines, a man and an accomplice broke into a house in Manila and robbed the residents of the home of two cell phones. A police patrol in the area heard screams coming from the house and were able to begin chasing one of the robbers. After a short chase, the man they were chasing began to use hand signals to ask for a time-out. Erwin Buenceso, who was one of the officers chasing the robber said, “He was panting and gasping for air when we caught up with him after a 500 meter sprint.”
I think I know exactly how that robber felt, because life can sometimes be a sprint through each day and into the night. Challenges at work, challenges at home, challenges with your family, obstacles to the left and to the right; and you may very well feel as though you need a time-out. You need a vacation, but you don’t have the time or the money to take one. You need a break, you need a live in nanny to take care of the kids, but it’s the real world where you live and that is not going to happen. So what do you do? Where do you turn? Do you just try to maintain your dignity and go down with the ship? Do you just keep that stiff upper lip and keep on keeping on? You keep signaling for a time-out, but no one sees.
When you are past due for a time-out what would God have you to do? Martin Luther once said during a very busy time of his life, “I am so busy now that if I did not spend three hours each day in prayer, I could not get through the day.” Tommy Barnett, pastor of Phoenix First Assembly says, “I’ve discovered it is not sufficient simply to try to take time for quietness but that I must, with all diligence, make time. Whatever keeps me from prayer, solitude, and the Bible, however good it appears, is my enemy if I am to be God’s devoted friend and follower.” It does not calculate in our human brains when we have no extra time, that if we spend time in prayer that it will mean that we have more time. When everything is coming apart at the seams, we think we must become busier, doing more and more and more. However, that is the way of defeat, anxiety, depression, and loss.
Jesus had a quiet time, a time-out, alone early in the morning during which He spent time with the Father. It is an example that we need to follow, bathing everything in our lives in prayer along with reading the Word of God to gain the spiritual sustenance that we need to face the challenges of each day. So, what are you waiting for? Why not have a time-out with the Lord right now? Because the busier you are, the more you need His help, empowerment, and provision for the day.