Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
Do you ever have those days when it feels like everyone wants a bit of you? Where you’re getting demands from left and right? Where it feels like you haven’t even got time to breathe, and all you want is a few minutes to yourself, just to rest? As a teacher, my days are always full, and always involve lots of interaction with other people. After a really busy day, all I want is to go home and have some “me” time.
Jesus was having one of those days. He was just about to go and get some rest with his disciples when a large crowd turned up. Being full of compassion, he gathered the crowd round him, taught them, and even fed them. By the time the crowd had begun to disperse, he must have been absolutely exhausted. He decided that he had to have some “me” time too, so he went up a mountain to get some quiet and to recover from the day’s busyness.
How Jesus chooses to spend his “me” time is interesting. He chooses to spend his time with God the Father in prayer. The gospels do not record the words he prayed, but I suspect he may have thanked his father for sustaining him through the day, for giving him the words to teach the crowd, and for helping him to feed the five thousand. He may also have asked God to help him to understand the next step in his ministry. What he prays, though, is idle conjecture; the important thing to see is that he does it.
How many of us when we are really tired and stressed try to muddle through on our own, trusting in our own ability to cope? I know that I do. Perhaps we should reflect on Jesus’ actions a little more, though. Perhaps we should thank God for helping us through our busy periods, and pray for him to sustain us as we continue to struggle through. Rather than trusting in our own strength to succeed, maybe we should be more proactive in calling upon the name of the Lord? If Jesus did it, after all, it must be worth a try.