And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
In modern-day words, Jesus just finished a healing crusade to kick off His ministry. Massive crowds were attracted to Him, to listen to His teachings and receive their much-needed healings.
Imagine crowds of people gathering around you, pressing you for prayer, not only is the amount of praying exhausting, it can be very concerning for your safety. I had it happen to me in Haiti not to the same extent that Jesus had I’m very sure, and on a much smaller scale. People gathered around so quickly that I was getting crowded back into the vehicle, truthfully, I was getting a little scared.
Fortunately, before we left out for the day, just trying to be generous I had offered to pay young men to come along and help me pass out rice and milk while I prayed, by the grace of God they ended up being crowd control. I’m sure the Holy Spirit saw it well in advance.
In our everyday lives, we face different types of crowd pressure. Our minds can be bombarded, with a constant barrage of cacophonies. Stress comes in so many forms, pick your toxin, some people are stressed by finances, others by biting their fingernails too much.
In one sentence Jesus gave us the formula for stress relief; find somewhere to get alone with God and spend some time with just you and Him. Ideally, you can take a trip to the mountains, or you can go out and sit in your car for ten minutes and pray to God. Sometimes I go and sit on the edge of the bathtub and pray.
Wilderness means a solitary place, whenever you can, there’s a wilderness near you.