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Food for the Soul

Food for the Soul, devotionals to help you in your busy life, written by NEWIM board members and staff. 

What Goes Up Must Come Down (3/8/2015)

Kim Johnson

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.
— Mark 6:45-46 (NIV)

Your day started early—up with the sun, rushing to finish the last minute preparations for the event. You pray. You pray with your leaders. Then you open your hands to the Lord in faith that He will give the increase. And He does. The results are incredible, even more than you hoped.

Now there is more work—gather information, meet some of the new people, touch base with leaders, clean the room, pack your car. Finally you head home, tired but excited with the “win.” A spiritual success is always sweet.

What a relief. Yet unwinding is not easy. Your mind wanders slowly back over the day. Each moment is measured. It is tempting to close your eyes and rest on the accomplishment. Quiet is definitely in order, but not by yourself.

In Mark 6, Jesus had just finished one of His greatest miracles, feeding a multitude with only five loaves of bread and two fish. It was quite the cause for commemoration. Yet, Jesus did not stop to share the moment with His disciples. No high fives, no discussing the day’s events. Instead, Jesus “made” His disciples get on a boat and go ahead of Him to the next stop. He didn’t even spend time with the crowd but dismissed them at the same time He was instructing the disciples to get going. His main objective after this huge event was not just to be alone—but to be alone so He could pray. Jesus needed to be prepared for whatever was coming next and that could only begin by spending time with His Father.

Climbing a mountain is not just about the way up, but always includes a strategy for the trip down. A climber must be equipped to enter as well as to exit the trail. Unseen or unexpected changes create risks that can be minimized if a climber is prepared as he or she descends. It is the same for leaders. We can’t stay on the summit forever. Our preparation must include as much time with the Lord after any event as before. The work is never done and while there is nothing wrong with savoring the moment, wisdom for what may be coming next is crucial. So after the big day or weekend event, go home, kick off your shoes, take a seat in your most comfortable chair, and rest—with the Lord.

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
— Proverbs 2:6 (NIV)