Raised From the Ashes: Lent – Day 7

Lent – Wednesday, Day 7

And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed”

Mark 1:35

Read Mark 1:29-45


 

Lonely Places

Lent 2016 Daily Devotions-4

Generally speaking, loneliness is not good for us humans. However, we can acknowledge that there are times when we need “lonely places”. Lent is certainly one of those times. Today we are seven days into our Lenten journey. The gospel today from St. Mark speaks to us of the ministry of Jesus to heal and restore, as well as of His need for lonely places.

During Lent, we often make the mistake of thinking the journey is about us; how we can grow stronger through more prayer, fasting and reflection. Indeed, we hope to grow stronger in our faith through observing a holy Lent, but may I submit to you today that that is a blessed consequence and not the goal of our journey

Our Lenten Goal

The goal of observing the Lenten season by dedicating more time to the spiritual disciplines is quite simply – union with Christ. It can be said that if we are followers of Jesus, the goal of all our earthly life is union with Christ, a union which consummates fully in Heaven. And, along the way we find great moments of “commUNION” with our Lord when we concentrate on practicing the disciplines of our faith as we do in Lent.

Jesus is our model for such practice of faith. While on earth, He found great strength and peace from times of concentrated prayer and communion with the Father, such as we read about in today’s gospel. But, we must also notice that those times were often found in lonely places like the wilderness and gardens where scripture tells us it what his habit to be alone in prayer (Luke 5:16).

The longer I live, the more I value times of quiet and aloneness, not to be alone with myself, but rather to be alone with God. Yes, I actually seek out lonely places. Today, I rose to write this devotional the morning after my father’s passing from this earth. Beginning with my father’s passing yesterday around noon, I have found myself in a particularly lonely place, even though surrounded by family. Yet in that aloneness, I realize my heavenly Father is with me. I am not alone.

Are You in a Lonely Place?

The psalmist says, “ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me” We are truly never alone, whether we realize it or not. God is always with his children. What a comfort it is to know in my loneliness without my father, I know my dad is with his heavenly Father, and will never feel alone again.

What are you going through on your journey? Are you in the valley of the shadow of death? Are you feeling alone in a crowded world? This Lent, my prayer for you is that you may realize that even in lonely places…you are never alone.

There’s a line from an old gospel song that I need to hear today. Perhaps you do too?

In the very thought of Jesus His presence can be found
He’s as close as the mention of His name
There is never any distance between my Lord and me
He’s as close as the mention of His name

You can listen to the song here:

As you read and listen today, let the Father raise you from the ashes.

Grace & Peace for a Holy Lent,

Pastor Brad

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

Matthew 5:6

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