Notice two things in this passage. First, Jesus spent time away, both at the beginning of the story with his disciples and at the end of the passage by himself. Secondly, he viewed interruptions as opportunities for ministry. Read these verses:
Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near. When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.—John 6:3-16
If we don’t spend time alone to center ourselves on the Lord then we can feel upset and overwhelmed with all of the activity that consumes our time. Personal devotions aren’t a duty. They are a necessity to keep us balanced and focused on the Lord in all that we do.
Spending time with God’s Word allows us to hear from Jesus and to draw our energy from him. With all that’s going on, it’s important keep your prayer life and devotion life a priority in a way that fits into your lifestyle.
On the other hand, Jesus was ready for interruptions. Instead of viewing them as an annoyance or irritation, he recognized that they provided opportunities to connect with people. Adding a bit more margin and a huge helping of perspective can help us view those interruptions as a way to work where God is working. It’s been said that interruptions are often God’s way of getting our attention.
Lord, as I pause today, in this moment, I ask that you would fill me with your Holy Spirit. Please direct my steps today and guide me in a way that will both keep me focused on you and aware that you might take me in a direction I didn’t expect. Amen.