"As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no longer.
But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him..."
~Psalm 103:15-17a

Me Time?

"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
John, Jesus' cousin and friend, had been put in prison for speaking the truth to King Herod.  Herod's wife, Herodias, hated him, so when Herod offered their daughter anything she wanted, Herodias realized she had her chance to get rid of John.  She prompted her daughter to ask for John's head on a platter.  So John, whose only crime was telling the truth and proclaiming God's Word, was brutally killed - his head carried around on a plate for all to see.  What must Jesus have felt on hearing this news!  We know that when Jesus went to Lazarus' tomb, He wept, even knowing that Lazarus would be raised from the dead.  How His heart must have ached at the news of John's death.  He needed to have some time alone, so He "withdrew...to a secluded place by Himself."

However, the people heard of this.  They didn't take into account His need for some time alone.  They wanted to see Him.  They wanted His help.  They wanted to talk to Him.  So they followed Him, and coming ashore, Jesus saw them - a large crowd of people all wanting to talk to Him.  All asking for His help.  All calling out to Him.

If I were in His place, what would I be feeling and thinking?  "Ugh.  Don't these people know that I need to be alone?  Don't they realize that I can't deal with them right now?  Don't they know that I'm mourning the death of John?  Why can't they wait a couple days?  Surely it wouldn't hurt them to wait even just a few hours!  Who do they think I am?  Do they think I am here just to cater to all their needs?  When do I get time for myself?  Do they just think I'm some kind of servant - only here to help them?"

But what did Jesus do?  What did He feel?  He "felt compassion for them and healed their sick."  He didn't grumble and complain.  He didn't think about His need to be alone.  He didn't throw up His hands in despair and leave.  He felt compassion and love for them.  He showed them kindness and care.  He took time to talk to them, to heal those who were sick, to show love to them.

What an example to us!  And what a challenge.  If I am a follower of Jesus, that is how I must respond to people who interrupt my plans or my "me time."  Instead of responding in frustration or anger, I should respond in compassion and love.  I must unselfishly consider their interests as higher than my own.  This is the kind of love that Christ had for me.  Can I do any less than my Lord and Master?

"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men." ~ Philippians 2:3-7