When you can’t say no….

Doesn’t the thought of getting away sound good right about now? Especially someplace warm and tropical? The thought of sitting on a beach with my feet in the warm sand listening to the sound of the waves sounds AH-MAY-ZING right now! Where all I have to think about is finding a great seashell and eating another pineapple whip. Who doesn’t need a little extra down time? What happens when we can’t get away? When we can’t un-busy our lives? When we can’t say no?

Doesn’t the thought of getting away sound good right about now? Especially someplace warm and tropical? The thought of sitting on a beach with my feet in the warm sand listening to the sound of the waves sounds AH-MAY-ZING right now! Where all I have to think about is finding a great seashell and eating another pineapple whip. Who doesn’t need a little extra down time?

Who wouldn't want to be here?
Who wouldn’t want to be here?

My husband and I try to schedule a couple nights away without the kids every year, but every year it seems to just fall by the wayside and we never seem to go. Let’s face it. As much as we all try to schedule some “down time” into our calendar, it isn’t always a possibility. There are always days with more to do than time to do it in. Or if we do schedule down time, it gets interrupted by something just as pressing. So what do we do when we can’t un-busy our lives…when we can’t say no?

He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired. (Isaiah 40:29 and 31)

I love the word wait here. It means to bind together perhaps by twisting, to expect, and to gather together. It’s getting intertwined with God…kind of like when you twist up a twistie on the loaf of bread. Those things are so hard to get undone sometimes. But when we draw close to God, it’s like we are twisting together with Him like a twistie and all his warmth and love and power and strength infuses our hearts and strengthens us to go on.

What it doesn’t say here is, “They that get away for a few days shall renew their strength.” It doesn’t say, “They that take a vacation will renew their strength.” It says, “They that bind together by twisting and expect Him shall renew their strength.”

To be honest, you don’t even need to be alone on the floor kneeling down in prayer to bind together with the Lord. You can be in your car or at your desk at work or sitting next to your daughter. Are you aware of Him? Do you expect Him? You can sit in a room full of PTO parents and still wait on Him.

As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. (Matthew 14:13-14)

Jesus often drew away from the crowd to spend time in prayer. There were also times like this after He heard of death of his cousin, John the Baptist, where He tried to draw away, but the crowds followed Him and pressed in on Him. He was grieving. He was tired. He wanted to be alone, but the crowds pressed in.

Jesus was fully God, but He operated as a man. He was tempted in all points like we are yet was without sin. How are you tempted to respond and act when you’re tired? When you get bad news?

I have nerves, and people get on them sometimes, and I don’t always respond in love and patience. Jesus had nerves, and I bet people got on them especially when He was tired. He lived with 12 men! Hello! I’m sure He had plenty of opportunities to respond from His nerves, but He never gave into that temptation! Doesn’t that just make you love Him all the more!?

Jesus didn’t roll his eyes and heave a sigh and huff off saying, “Can’t I just get a few minutes alone?!” Jesus responded with compassion and healed their sick. How? How could He do that? Because He lived Isaiah 40….intertwined and expectant and gathering together with His Father….and His strength was renewed.

I think we tend to put more faith in our “quiet time” than we do the One with whom we spend it. If we didn’t get our time alone this morning, look out world, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride! Renewing our strength is not just dependent on time alone….it’s being fully aware of Him all day long and abiding there. He is always with us, and He can renew our strength, even when we can’t un-busy our lives. Even when we can’t say no…isn’t He wonderful?

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