Scripture ~ Matthew 14:13-14 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
Observation ~ The 'it' of which Jesus had heard was the beheading of John the Baptist and the subsequent burial. If I had a cousin (I think, second in this case), with whom I was doing such true kingdom work, and that cousin was beheaded simply for the pleasure of the mother of some tart that danced for her male relatives (Matt 14:6), I would be a crazed mess. I would depart to a desert place apart and want to be left alone or with a quiet circle of close companions to grieve. Seeing a multitude who needed something from me would irk me to no end, and there would certainly be no compassion toward them. (Truthfully, 'going postal' on the crowd comes to mind!)
But that's exactly what happened to Jesus. He left in attempt to grieve, but saw a multitude with needs and addressed those needs.
Application ~ I heard some years back that the eyes are faced outward because that is the direction in which we are to look. Not inward at ourselves, as we do enough of that as it is. Perhaps this is the prescription for grief. Instead of being so inward focused on my hurt, looking around at how to serve others would relieve some of it. If nothing else, it would certainly be a more productive use of the time required to pass for the grief to dull in severity.
Prayer ~ Father - show me! When grief comes, as it has and as it will, in many forms over many issues and levels of intensity, show me where and how to serve. Show me how to get over myself and onto others. Do it in a way where the only explanation points to you.
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