This has long been one of my favorite pictures of Jesus, getting up early and embracing solitude. I also love solitude, though getting up early has been more challenging for me!
In this passage, the word “solitary” means deserted. No distractions. Peaceful and quiet. Dark.
It was a long while before daylight. Had it been a short night’s sleep for Jesus? What was on his mind? Some have suggested that he had an important day of ministry before him, so he wanted time to clear his head before starting a busy day. Or did he have concerns from the day before that had awakened him?
Perhaps he had left the house where his disciples and he were staying. Being outdoors in God’s creation was a great place to worship in prayer and to lift requests to his Father.
What do you do when you wake up during the night? (Last night, I woke up at 1:45 a.m., tried to go back to sleep, was able to sleep till 2:45, but then got up.) I have found it good to use these early morning wakeful sessions to search my mind and soul to see what is keeping me from sleep, pray for family members who are struggling, let God know that I do really need him to get through the coming day’s challenges, and just give him all my worries.
Father God, please meet me today in the solitary places, perhaps in the dark moments of my day, and take my burdens from me, giving me your love, grace and power in their place.
Throughout This Day: Try to find solitude in your day, even though it may be hard. Be open to rising up early and even walking out into God’s creation to escape distraction. God will meet you there!
Photo Credit: Shane Rounce on Unsplash