Date: June 24, 2014
Location: Nkozi, Uganda
In all of my theological pursuits, questions, and wanderings, I have received the same advice over and over again: "In order to be like Jesus, you must do exactly what He did."
For years I wrestled with that statement, wondering what it even means or where to even begin. In order to be like Jesus, you must do exactly what He did. Okay, so what exactly did He do?
"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 1:35
If you know me, you know I'm not very good at mornings. If you're a morning person, God bless you because the rest of us can't comprehend how you do it.
So maybe I'm not ready to conquer the "very early in the morning" part of Mark 1:35. But leaving the house, going off to a solitary place, and praying? That, on the other hand, I can do.
This morning, my Ugandan besto (best friend) Vyna Kush went on a short, simple hike with me to a hill near our university that overlooks all of Nkozi. I told Kush I was in desperate need of some solid Jesus time, and she asked if she could come along. So we grabbed our Bibles, a few snacks, and headed off for the hill.
On the way to the hill, we were completely lost in beautiful conversation, about family, friends, faith, and the future. There is something so simple, so wonderful about growing deeper in relationship with your best friend because no matter how much you think you know a person, there is always so much left to know.
Once we reached the hill we sat in silence for a few minutes, amazed by the view. I looked to Kush and said, "You know what I don't understand? I don't understand how anyone could ever look at this view and deny the existence of God." Kush looked at me with that beautiful smile of hers, nodding her head in agreement.
We pulled out our Bibles and began reading. Before we knew it, two hours had passed. Yet by the end of those two hours, I felt like I was just getting started.
"Can we end in prayer?" Kush asked, as we both began to pack up our things.
We held hands, bowed our heads, and prayed. 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.
Want to make the most of the day? Start your day with Jesus. Even if you don't want to. Even if it feels like such a burden. Rise early in the morning, while it is still dark, get up, leave the house and go off to a solitary place, and pray.
After all, no matter how far away God may seem from you at the moment, He is always with you, holding your hand, guiding you through.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35-39
Hallelujah. We will never be separated from His love. Hallelujah.
Love love love,