Oh joy! Loadshedding started again today. For any non-South Africans, that is when the power supply company, Eskom, puts off the power for a couple of hours every day (or multiple times a day) when they can’t supply enough electricity. It is really inconvenient and also unproductive for businesses. Some businesses and especially financial institutions simply close their doors for the duration of the power cut.
I think that when we don’t spend enough time in the Word and in prayer we also get to a point where we need to do some load shedding. We close down because we don’t have enough input. We run dry. It’s not a good place to be, but I believe it happens to everyone once in a while. You know that place where you feel you can’t give anymore. When someone speaks to you about a problem you don’t even want to listen. If a friend asks you to pray for them it feels like a burden. Then you know you are in load shedding mode. That’s the time you need to take our an hour or two and just switch off all technology and be quiet. Read some scripture, speak to your Father and sit and listen. This is also the time when the devil is going to remind you of the dishes that haven’t been done, of the laundry that’s piling up and of all the weeds in the garden. This is the time that your mind is going to start going around in circles and you’ll feel sure that you aren’t cut out for this kind of thing and you’re never going to hear a word from God. But persevere. It is going to be worth it; if not this time, then next time.
Luke 5:16, So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
Jesus is our example for doing this.
Matthew 14:22-23, Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.
Luke 6:12-13, Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles:
After Jesus prayed he could make wise decisions. How often do we consult God in earnest prayer before we make a big decision? Or do we decide to do something and then ask God to bless our decision? Then we are very surprised when there is no blessing.
Mark 6:30-32, Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
After Jesus ministered to people and was spiritually depleted He took time off to be restored.
Mark 7:24, From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden.
Jesus also at times did not want interaction with lots of people. Why is it that people think pastors should be available 24/7 to meet their needs if Jesus took time out?
And of course before He was crucified, Jesus spent a night in prayer as preparation.
Luke 22:41-44, And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
We need to follow the example of our Master and take more time out. We can call it whatever we like, load shedding, prayer, time-out… it doesn’t matter, just as long as we do it.