Summer can often get hectic around the Hammond Household: all the kids from the neighborhood are home from school and we try to keep an open door policy for them to come over and interact if they need to, our kids are home from school and want to do all of the summer activities, and every time we come home someone looks at our milkweed and finds another Monarch Caterpillar… (I think we are up to 27 at this point living on our dining room table…). And I often find myself at the point where frustration, tired, crabby, and overwhelmed meet.
How are we supposed to keep our sanity up with everything that is going on around us?
I am going to make three assumptions here:
- Many of you have felt this too in different circumstances.
- The hard work of simplification (removing stuff from life and the schedule that isn’t needed) has already taken place in our life and yours.
- God is a good God who wants us to thrive in life… not just survive it.
So what do we do when we are in a season when it is likely that we won’t be able to keep a level head because of everything that is going on around us?
I want to suggest we look to the ministry of Jesus. Luke 5:15-16 says:
15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Jesus ministry was incredibly successful and huge crowds wanted to come to Jesus as their Messiah. But the note that Luke makes about how Jesus organized His ministry has nothing to do with calendars or schedules or ministry philosophies… Jesus often pulled back from the busyness of life and prayed.
I often feel like the burden of scheduling more time to pray is inconvenient in a busy schedule… but Jesus did it often when everything was exploding all around Him… Jesus withdrew. I think (the scriptures don’t say, but I think that it is implied) Jesus knew that if He was going to continue to be successful, He was going to need to stay intimately connected to the Father.
I wonder what it would take in my life to feel the need to be connected to God like that. I wonder what my life would look like if I was known as someone who often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. I wonder what it would look like for you.
Let’s try it! I want to come to God more over the next month (July as of the writing of this blog) with a simple prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Risen Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner.” Will you take the plunge with me?