Christmas is the one time of year I can imagine what it must have been like to be Jesus. Everyone wanted something from Him. Some wanted physical or spiritual healing, some physical or spiritual feeding, some wanted teaching, and some even wanted Him to be a earthly ruler over throwing the Roman rule.
I feel like everyone wants something from me this time of year. I'm meeting the "usual" needs, such as housekeeping, laundry and caring for the kids. Then I have the additional holiday needs at home, like decorating, baking, shopping and wrapping.
At school, I have two field trips and two Christmas parties to attend just this week, plus I am a room mom. Then the school is also collecting canned goods for the food bank, and gloves for the homeless shelter. My 5th grader "adopted" a grandmother who I also have to shop for.
At church, they're asking each child to bring in a wrapped gift for children in need, plus they too are collecting for the food bank.
My local county social services office is asking me if I could Christmas shop for the girl I usually support at Christmas. Even my Christian radio station is asking for money and gifts for those in need. I go to Walmart to pick up some gifts and there is the Salvation Army guy asking for my spare change! ACK!
I imagine that Jesus experienced this all year round. Crowds pushed closer to him. A woman in the crowd sought just to touch the edge of his cloak. (Luke 8:44) Everyone asking him for more and more and more.
Matthew 8:18-20 - When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
Mark 3:7-10 - Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. When they heard all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him.
As I fight the crowds at the stores this season, I'm reminded that Jesus sought time away from the crowds. I should follow that lead. Taking a few minutes alone at home to rest, reflect, and regroup gives me renewed strength. Jesus also made a point to pray.
Mark 1:35 - Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Luke 5:16 - But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Luke 9:28 - About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.
If Jesus, who was one with God, needed to take time alone to pray, then certainly we need to follow that example.
During this busy season of year, as the crowds press into you and everyone seems to be asking you for miracles, act like Jesus. Meet the needs you can, but take time to rest and pray.