Luke 5:12-16 ESV
“While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him. And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.”
People are naturally drawn to the miraculous. Anything that goes beyond what our finite minds can comprehend, will lure our curious minds and eyes in. This doesn’t only apply to the church either. When I entered “do miracles really happen?” into a search engine, I received 27,300,000 results in 0.60 seconds. Humanity is always on the hunt for a miracle.
On the contrary, not a lot of people love and pursue desolate places. In my mind, I view the miraculous and the desolate as opposites. The miraculous is thriving, alive and grand. The desolate is lonely, confusing and dull.
In the above scriptures, Jesus performs a miracle but immediately withdrew from that atmosphere and went to a desolate place to pray. How many of us willingly leave the brilliance of the miraculous, to seek after the quiet place? It definitely isn’t something I excel at, but I do know this, to truly find God requires us to relentlessly pursue Him. And part of that deal is travelling into the much less exciting seasons of life.
It’s easy to get caught up in the spine-tingling parts of it all, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but in order to draw nearer to Christ and to become more like Him, we have to leave the hype and noise and get alone in our own desolate place with Him. He is not limited to only the thrilling and impressive, but I believe that there is so much more of Him to be found in the desert.
Can you hear His voice gently calling to you today? I know that the path before you may appear frightening, and perhaps you’re unsure of where you may end up, but if you walk down it hand in hand with God, you will never be lost and will never go without.
Prayer: God, teach my heart to not be afraid of the desolate places. I know that You can be found there, and You are all my heart truly desires. I want and need so much more of You, especially in these uncertain times, so help me to not miss any opportunity to spend time with You.