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Departing for a Desolate Place

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

Kimberly Oden | Beacon Life | Equipping Parents | Christian Parenting |  Conference Speakers

When my four boys were little, I remember wrestling with whether or not to rise early to spend time with the Lord. I knew time with Him was always a perspective changer and yet the wrestle was real… There were times when I chose to hit snooze and doze for another hour, oftentimes regretting the extra Zzzz’s as I would awaken to a home full of energy that required my attention to go from zero to hundred in the blink of an eye!

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35

When I ponder the verse above in light of that season, there is one particular phrase that catches my attention: …he departed and went out to a desolate place.

  • The word, departed, comes from two Greek words that mean, to go away in order to follow.

  • –The word, desolate, comes from a Greek word that means desert; solitary; uninhabited. One commentator wrote that it properly means, an uncultivated and unpopulated place; a solitary place that provides needed quiet (freedom from disturbance).

Now that last definition gave me a giggle because on those days when I didn’t rise early, I would oftentimes, “escape” to my main floor bathroom, yes, an uncultivated, solitary and unpopulated place that provided the much-needed quiet and freedom from disturbance! 

Oftentimes in the Bible a “desert” place is ironically also where God richly granted His Presence and provision for those seeking Him. I know in my 26+ years of parenting, there have been many “desert seasons” where I felt like I didn’t have it in me to be the kind of mom that I desired… Yet time and again, when I would seek out the desolate place, whether rising early in the morning, or going to the bathroom to read a chunk of my One Year Bible I had stashed under the sink, God richly granted His Peace, His joy, His love, His patience, His kindness, His goodness and all of the other things I so desperately needed in the moment.

We serve a limitless Lord who saw fit to seek a solitary place after a day of healing the masses...even He, the Son of the Most High God, departed for a desolate place after a day of extraordinary and exhausting labor. If the adventure of following Jesus this side of heaven means to follow him EVERYWHERE He went, why wouldn’t we follow His lead to depart to a desolate place? May we all continue to seek FaceTime with the Father so that our countenance might shine with His Peace and His Presence!


What does, departing and going to a desolate place look like in this season of life?

Even Jesus departed to a desolate place to seek the face of the Father. How can you set up your home or your day so that no matter the time of day, you have a set-apart, solitary place where the Father can minister His peace and presence in and through you so that you might reflect His glory to your family?

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