Weary is an ever-present companion these days.
I do not need to turn the news on for him to make himself comfortable. Weary climbs up next to me, let’s out a long sigh while his burdened shoulders slouch deeply and his knowing eyes meet mine.
He’s not too aggressive most of the time, just sits softly sighing in a corner of the room, my office, the car…
and so, I can often go about my day still getting my job done, seeking joys, and doing my best to renew my resolve in making healthy choices and enjoying activities.
I know Weary has been with us for years, yet this extended season of COVID-19 has created a bigger door for him to walk in and become a more permanent fixture.
Jesus knew Weary
Because of His humanity, Jesus was acquainted with Weary as well. Often times brought on by the very people He was ministering to and pursuing for God.
Mark 1:21-28, 32-34-
They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
“Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.
“The whole town gathered at the door.” As Jesus’ ministry began to draw crowds, He was constantly being sought out and followed. Exactly what was wanted, and exactly what invited Weary into His life.
Yet Jesus knew how to deal with this uninvited companion.
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.
// Mark 1:35
“For Christ… he regularly escaped the noise and frenzy of society to be alone with his Father, where he could give him his full attention.
After ‘his fame spread everywhere’ (Mark 1:28), and ‘the whole city was gathered together at the door’ (Mark 1:33), Jesus took a remarkable step. He slipped away the following morning to restore his soul in ‘secret converse’ with his Father…
Luke also makes it unmistakable that this pattern of retreat and reentry was part of the ongoing dynamic of Christ’s human life.
… how many of us, in such a situation, would have the presence of mind, and heart, to discern and prioritize prayer as Jesus did?” 1
I look at this example of Christ from Mark, and find comfort in knowing Jesus needed space and was acquainted with Weary.
Even so, Jesus did not let Weary outstay his welcome. Prayer was His weapon against the tug and pull of the needs surrounding Him, and the source of strength to continue His purpose.
May each of us find, through Christ’s example, the healthy rhythms of retreat and reentry to combat Weary in our lives and find strength in prayer.
1. Quoted from “Time Alone for God” by David Mathis – https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/time-alone-for-god