First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~

Where Jesus leads, we should follow.

November 15, 2015

    I'm feeling heavy today. It feels as though someone has ratcheted up the earth's gravitational pull and didn't tell anyone. My mind doesn't want to focus and movements are labored.  Have you ever had days like this? Weeks? Months? Years?


    Let me tell you a secret....well, it isn't actually a secret.  Jesus experienced these kinds of struggles. When we read that Jesus went away to a solitary place to pray, it suggests he needed to recharge his spiritual batteries. He had just received news of John the Baptist's beheading. His demeanor changed and he needed help from His heavenly Father.


        "The king...  ...had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the

        girl, who carried it to her mother. John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went

        and told Jesus.  When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary

        place." (Matthew 14:9a, 10-13, NIV).


Servants are programmed to serve and offer themselves in ministry. Hard-wired to seek goodness for others, servants often end the day completely drained of their energy and must seek renewal. Jesus demonstrated this basic need on many occasions. 


        "That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole

        town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out

        many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. 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." (Mark 1:32-35, NIV)


When you feel the suffocating heaviness of death and want to remain strong, know that crying and sobbing are okay too.  Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters. He spent a great deal of time with them and now stood in front of a tomb. His heart hurt for his friends and he cried. The Son of God shed tears and exhibited human weakness in grief.


        "When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you

        had been here, my brother would not have died.”  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had

        come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid

        him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept.  (John 11:32-35, NIV)

Remember, Jesus is our divine healer. He reduces gravity's pull and breathes fresh new clarity into our confusion. He defeated sin's evil curse and raises dead bodies to life. He brings peace to our hearts and one day will bring peace to the world. If today, you find yourself feeling heavy and siezed by fear, hear these words of Jesus.


        "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your

        hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27, NIV)

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