Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - July 19, 2006

Lonely Places 
This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder

“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.  But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”  Luke 5:15-16    

A recent commercial shows a mom hurriedly going through her day, taking care of the kids, answering the phone, and going about her daily schedule. There is nothing too unusual in what’s happening, until you notice the blinking red light on her forehead that tells the world she’s on overload.  If the truth is told, most of us are on overload.  I’m reminded of a writing assignment I had on the book Margins[1].  As I was writing about the importance of having margin in your life I chuckled at the irony in front of me.  I had a Sunday school lesson to prepare, a major fundraiser underway, and a writing deadline due, while piles of laundry grew like wildfire and my sick toddler cried!  Talk about a need to get away!!


Below are twelve warning signs[2] your life may be on overload.


  1. Exhaustion—sheer weariness
  2. Detachment from others or responsibilities
  3. Boredom and cynicism
  4. Increased impatience and irritability
  5. Unrealistic view of self, either over-inflated ego or excessively low self-esteem
  6. Feelings of being unappreciated
  7. Feelings of paranoia
  8. Disorientation, difficulty concentrating or keeping your thoughts on track
  9. Psychosomatic complaints, especially pain in the head, neck or joints
  10. Depression in specific areas, especially ones that bring undue stress
  11. Major depression
  12. Suicidal thinking


Jesus was no stranger to stress, overload and pressure.  But instead of falling victim to the pressures around Him, He turned away from the crowds and toward God in solitude.  Alone with God, He was renewed, strengthened, transformed and inspired.[3] The same can be true for us.

[1] Margins, by Richard Swenson., NavPress, September 2004

[2] Beating Burnout, Balanced Living for Busy People, Frank Minirth and Paul Meier.  Inspirational Press, New York, 1990.

[3] Pastor Jim Snyder, Lees Summit, MO


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1.    As you look over the warning signs, how many are you experiencing?  Honestly evaluate the things that have caused your overload and scrupulously eliminate them from your life.

2.  Are you spending time with God in the “lonely places”?  Make an appointment with Him daily and keep it!


Matthew 11:28; Isaiah 40:28; Romans 12:2; Luke 9:28; Psalm 119: 97-100

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