April 09, 2018

It Never Ends

Devotion for the Week...

I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "A woman's work is never done." How true is that?? I know that for me, it often feels like there just aren't enough hours in the day for all that I have to do (day job, housecleaning, laundry) and that I want to do (quilting!) and all of the things that are being left undone can sometimes feel overwhelming.

Imagine my surprise when I read a familiar section of the Bible and discovered that Jesus fully understands that feeling!

To set the scene for you, Jesus had spent the previous evening healing people in the town of Capernaum. We're told, in fact, that "The whole town gathered at the door" (Mark 1:33). Though Jesus healed 'many' you can be sure that in a crowd the size of a whole town, there were also many who didn't get to the front of the line to be healed that night.

Then, "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: 'Everyone is looking for you!'

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons" (vv. 35-39).

I've said before, the Bible doesn't give us much in the way of details to help us picture the scene. It's not like a novel where every sigh or smile is detailed to make you feel like you can see everything that's happening. That's probably a good thing...the Bible would be several volumes long if it did have all those details! But it does mean that we can sometimes gloss over the emotional side of the story as we're reading.

Just imagine how you would feel if you had gotten up early to get a few quiet moments to pray by yourself, but before long your friends pour into your quiet place, exclaiming "Everyone is looking for you!" Can you feel the weight of the expectations on your shoulders, the weariness that would fall on you at those words?

Because when Peter says 'everyone' he really means all of the townspeople who need something from Jesus or who want to see the miracles He can perform, or who just want to sit and listen to Him teach. There was still plenty of work to be done in Capernaum.

Jesus wasn't turning His back on the people in Capernaum when He suggested they go to the nearby villages rather than returning to where they had already been. It wasn't that their needs were unimportant to Him, or that the people in the other villages were more deserving of healing. It was simply that Jesus knew His time was limited. He couldn't stay in Capernaum and heal everyone there. He was needed in other places too.

Hebrews 4:15,16 says, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

Yes, this verse is usually used to remind us that Jesus understands our weakness in relation to sin and temptation. He was tempted as we were, after all, but didn't sin. But after thinking about Jesus being maybe a little overwhelmed by the amount of work that needed to be done in the world, I thought about how He understands all of our weaknesses.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
He understands our physical limitations, that we need times of rest and rejuvenation. He understands the limits that come from having only 24 hours in a day and how sometimes that just isn't enough to meet all of the needs around us.

Isn't it wonderful to know that Jesus understands all of our weaknesses?

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