Christ Alone

Pasquale MingarelliBy Pasquale Mingarelli4 Minutes

When we read the Gospels, we read many fascinating accounts of the life and works of Jesus. We read of stories of healings and other miracles, and we read of life-transforming teachings that reach down into our inner being.

Each one of us has our own favorite stories of Jesus. Stories of a blind man receiving his sight; stories of a little girl raised to life; stories of the faith of a Roman centurion whose love for his servant caused him to approach Jesus with the utmost humility to see that servant healed. And of course, the favorite story of all is how Jesus died on the cross for our sin and rose from the dead.

But there are also other stories that slip by unnoticed. Over a dozen times, the four Gospels say how Jesus slipped away to the wilderness. In the Gospel of Mark chapter 1, Mark records Jesus going to “a secluded place.” Luke wrote in his Gospel, “But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray (5:16).” So why did Jesus often seek seclusion in the quiet of creation?

Do you think Jesus may have known something about getting out in nature? Although He was always fully God, in a divine mystery, He also became fully human. Just like you and me, His human side needed rest and needed to get away.

Not only does nature provide us with quiet, but Romans 1 tells us how creation reveals God to us. When we look at nature, we not only see the Lord’s handiwork in the majestic and massive elements of creation, but also in the little details of everything there. In the leaves, the trees, the flowers, and in the bunnies and the bugs we see the wisdom and creative talent of an infinite God.

Nature woos us into considering and understanding God’s greatness. It not only gives us the quiet and stillness we need to meditate, but it gives us something incredible to meditate on.

Like Jesus, I find peace in a secluded place. I find joy there as well and it makes for a beautiful place to meet with the Lord. Now, more than ever, with our constant media barrage, I sense my need to walk away from the things that stress me. Whether it’s work, too much going on in my personal life, or just looking at my phone too many times a day, I recognize my need to get away.

Now, getting out directly in nature may not always be equitable for us to do, but when we do get outside, it brings refreshing life to our souls. Even on days when I can’t get away, I like to step out on my back deck and spend some time with God. I also like to just walk around my garden in the backyard. I find rest in a simple slice of creation. Even just listening to the birds out an open window makes me think of God.

In these tumultuous days, we all could use time in a secluded place with God. It does our soul good to meet with Him in some sort of daily secluded place. His Word and our prayers bring peace to our hearts.