“And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray and when the evening was come he was there alone.” – Matthew 14:23
There are quite a number of lighthouses located offshore that were built upon either dangerous shoals, reefs, or submerged islands several miles away from land. But at 25 miles from the nearest shore, The Stannard Rock Light (pictured above) is the most distant lighthouse in the United States. Built in 1883, this 100 ft. tower was named after Captain Charles C. Stannard, who first discovered the underwater rock formation in 1835. Because of its remote location, it was designated a “stag light, ” which meant that only men (without families) could serve as light keepers. If someone got sick or there was an emergency of any kind at the light, it would take weeks before anyone could arrive with assistance! After warning mariners of the treacherous reefs for over 100 years, the tower was finally retired in 2008. It is now used for climate research purposes.
Have you ever wanted to just get away from it all – I mean, very far away? To escape to somewhere quiet and peaceful where you could take a walk, read a book, or just vegetate without being interrupted?
How about escaping to a place where you could pray, meditate, read God’s word, or just marvel at His creation?
We all need to take (not make) time to separate ourselves from the “world” and come closer to heaven. A time to not only lay our burdens down at the foot of the cross but to receive new strength from the very throne of God. A place to experience a truly intimate moment with our Heavenly Father.
At times life can simply become too much. The cares, interactions, expectations and demands of our daily lives can drain us to the point of physical, emotional and even spiritual exhaustion. Stress can easily turn the peaceful, exciting and inspiring wonders around us into a war-like zone where everything is but beautiful. Life becomes more like a static TV Screen; a noise from which we desperately need to escape to alleviate the heaviness.
Jesus identified with every human emotion, including stress. After spending hours teaching, listening, touching, healing and comforting people he longed for a time to just relax. A time to recuperate both physically and emotionally. For Jesus, it was mostly about giving and meeting people’s needs. However, there was no one to give to him and meet his needs, no one except His Father in heaven that is. The difference with Jesus is that he had no problem in stepping away from the stresses of ministry and into a quiet place where all noise could be muffled. That quiet place was in the presence of God the Father.
We may be able to temporarily separate ourselves from the world around us, but rarely, if at all possible, do we find a place to be absolutely and completely apart from the noise. Such a place is not to escape from something, but rather into Someone. It is a place where we can leave the world and its noise behind and meet with our Father, just as Jesus did; a time to truly PRAY. Do you know of such a place? A place where you can escape into God’s presence and spend uninterrupted time with Him? Perhaps for many of us, such a place may be a spare room in the house/apartment, a bench at the park, or at a church altar. Regardless, I believe God is calling his children to escape into Him more frequently. If you believe that calling is for you, then take the time to escape. I guarantee life will become a lot less stressful.
Prayer: Lord, when all around me captures my soul and imprisons my time, my heart and my energies help me find and run to a place far away, where it’s just you and me. In Jesus name I pray, amen.