Understanding the season that you are in and having self-awareness so that you are not blinded to the truth of the moment is the discernment that all of us need.
What do you do when you receive bad news?
“When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” (Matthew 14 v 13)
Jesus has been told that his relative and forerunner, John the Baptist, has been cruelly killed. When the pace-setter and forerunner bows out of the race it is the moment for the ‘runner’ to take over and go for the line. It is a Regather, Regroup, Reset and Breathe moment.
With the pain of loss and the pain of adjustment in your heart then you know this is not a time for those feelings to overwhelm but it is a time to find somewhere to go and know which people are coming with you.
Matthew (v15) indicates the disciples had come with Jesus. Mark (6:30-32) and Luke (9:10) specifically say they did. Luke says they went to Bethsaida, the home place of 3 of the disciples, Philip, Andrew and Peter. But Matthew reveals that it was to the desolated part of Bethsaida that they went to. To the place with little population.
At the time of Jesus receiving this bad news his disciples were arriving back from their short-term mission’s trip filled with amazing stories.
Maybe you have come to the end of a chapter. Bad news fills your mind or you are excited with the good news that has happened. Maybe you have gone through a busy season where you have given much to people in terms of your time and energy. What should you do? Just keep going? Somehow you need to replace what you have done with who He is. His identity needs to overwhelm your activity. Your ability to keep going is dependent on your decision to keep pursuing Jesus.
They withdrew to be alone with Jesus.
Even though it was short-lived the principle is there. Time alone with Jesus after a season of activity in the Kingdom of God is what He wants.
But also it appears Jesus withdrew to be alone with them. Time alone with your ‘group’ whoever they are after a season comes to an end and a new one is about to start is the opportunity for a Regather, Regroup, Reset and Breathe moment.