By Robert Forsberg
“And the child (John) grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.” (Luke 1:80)
John grew and lived in the hill country, being raised in a solitary area away from large populations. He was not in a desert as we know it but a wilderness area that was sparsely populated. It appears he was alone much of the time communing with God and preparing his spirit for his mission.
His getting away with God was what made him strong and ready for his baptizing work to come. It is important to learn from John that getting away from people and the activity of community and family is an important part of growing closer to our Lord God. This “Quiet Time” is essential for the spirit within a person to be nourished.
In our hectic society today it is difficult to find that “Quiet Time” to be with the Lord. There are pressures from all directions: family, friends, work, and community. It is hard to get away from these, not only physically but certainly mentally. We have to fight for the time to spend with our God.
We have to make a concerted effort to be with Him through His Word and Prayer. That time pays off, however, in a spirit that is strong and able to do the work the Lord has for us to do. Let us aspire to be as prepared and bold as John the Baptist.
Heavenly Father, it is no small thing to become a bold witness for You, but it takes time with You. Help us find that time. Enrich our time with You by strengthening our faith and empowering us with Your direction to do Your work like John did. Lord, we desire to be strong in Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn and a weekly columnist.