Getting Away From It All
“Oh that I had in the desert a travelers’ lodging place, that I might leave my people and go away from them!”
Jeremiah 9:2 (ESVUK)
Have you ever thought, “stop the world, I want to get off!”. It’s as if the world is spinning around madly, like some quickening out-of-control carousel, so much so that you can’t take it any longer.
That is how it was for Jeremiah. It seemed to him that everything that mattered was descending into increasing chaos and confusion. No one cared about moral standards anymore. As for the political leaders they promised “‘Peace, peace’ when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 8:11). “Is there no physician?” to heal the nation spiritually, he reflected (v:22), “my joy is gone”, and “my heart is sick within me” (v.18).
It is against this background that Jeremiah wanted to get away. He needed a break from everything and everybody. Sadly, as far as we know, he didn’t find that travelers’ lodge in the desert. Perhaps, if he had, it might have given him a temporary, refreshing rest. The circumstances of Judah would not have changed, and he would have returned to the same moral malaise that surrounded him beforehand. Would he, however, have coped better whenever he got back?
It did not happen for Jeremiah, but it can happen for us. Our society is not so different from that of Jeremiah’s. We can relate to his sentiments. We may wish to find that special place to which we can retreat and where we can relax a bit. Chances are we have more opportunities than Jeremiah had. We can take that walk in the country, a day trip, a weekend away, or, if affordable, a family holiday of our choice.
Spiritually, of course, we find our rest in Jesus, but that does not mean that we don’t need physical and emotional respite when things are difficult.
When things are hard, let Jesus comfort us through his peace, and, also, let’s think about getting away from it all if we can.
Thank you, Father, for the gift of rest, and help me to take the opportunity to take a break away from it all from time to time. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson
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