He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Matthew 14:23 NIV
You’re infected. The last words you want to hear and yet could something good come from it?
Our world seems to be out of order. The news tells of earthquakes, floods, and fires. It screams about disasters, terror and diseases. Fear grips us. The noise clamoring inside our head is deafening. We get sucked into the chaos by feeding our addiction for information. No need to wait for the news, it’s right there at our fingertips. Our insatiable need-to-know overwhelms us. We not only want to be the first to know, we then need to impart our newly discovered knowledge to others.
This addiction didn’t start with smart phones or internet or TV or even radio, it began in a garden. In the beginning Eve desired to know more. She ate from that one tree of Good and Evil, so that she would be in the know and then have the ability to comment or judge others. This insatiable desire for information is not new, it is ancient and crippling. Eve ate the fruit to have instant knowledge. And we refuse to part from our phones, convinced we might miss something.
What if we recognized our addiction and found a cure? What’s that? You don’t really want a cure?
We are all infected.
New research says that screen time is one of the leading causes of anxiety and depression. The Bible tells us that our enemy is out to steal, kill and destroy. We assume his tactics will be with a virus, a bomb or natural disaster, but he is already accomplishing his goal by robbing us of the most precious gift! Time.
In Matthew 14 when Jesus heard His cousin John the Baptist had been beheaded, He withdrew. He got alone. But life kept coming at Him, crowds followed Him. He had compassion on them, healing the sick and feeding 5000.
Then He dismissed the crowd and sent His disciples in a boat and went away by Himself. Did you catch that? Periodically Jesus withdrew and got away from the crowd.
The world will keep coming at you. It will constantly be filled with news and noise of the latest disaster. And just like Jesus, we should have compassion and help. And then, follow His lead.
Jesus often demonstrated how to keep calm in the midst of chaos. He got alone and prayed. It was His cure for the maddening circumstances swirling constantly around Him.
What if the disaster that is swirling around you is the perfect opportunity to get alone and pray? After Jesus got away, in verse 27 He reassured His disciples and you, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Read Matthew 14 and ask God to calm your heart. Be as intentional with your alone time with Jesus as you are with your phone.
Dear Lord, I recognize that I have an addiction for knowledge and I’m no different than Eve. Forgive me! Teach me to run to You instead of my phone and cherish the alone time. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.