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Jesus ‘Withdrew’

by J. M. Farro on May 15th, 2022

   “Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.  When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.”  Matthew 14:13-14 NASB

   There are two words in a verse of Scripture that have given me a unique kind of comfort and reassurance in difficult and painful times.  Matthew 14:13 (NASB) says, “[Jesus] withdrew.”  The reason why He did this is as important to me as the act of His withdrawing.  The Savior had just gotten word of John the Baptist’s execution.  The Lord’s strong personal emotions caused Him to withdraw from His normal routine and from others.

   Scripture reveals that it’s perfectly okay – and perhaps, even healthy – for us to withdraw for a time when we suffer personal loss or disappointment.  We can take this time apart from others to pour our hearts out to the Lord, to pray, to read and meditate on God’s Word, and to receive the kind of comfort and healing that only Christ can give.

   But the next verse in this passage reveals that after a time of withdrawal and seclusion, we need to compassionately remember and reach out to those whom the Lord puts in our path to minister to.  Our acts of compassion are just as important to our healing as our act of withdrawing.

   If you are hurting today, I encourage you to withdraw for a while from your regular routine and the people around you.  Allow the Lord to personally minister to you for a time, so that you can go back out into the world, and minister the love and truth of God to others in a greater way than ever before!

   Lord, when I suffer a loss or disappointment of any kind, help me to withdraw from my normal routine and from others, and to spend some time alone with You.  Show me how to draw on Your strength and wisdom.  Comfort me as only You can.  Give me a heart of compassion that can minister to others when they are the ones who are hurting.  Thank You for healing me, and for filling me with a fresh sense of hope and joy!

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