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An Unexpected Quiet Place - iBelieve Truth: A Devotional for Women - January 17

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An Unexpected Quiet Place
By: Kristine Brown

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” (Mark 6:31 NIV)

“Have you ever experienced anxiety in confined spaces?” The imaging technician stood over me, asking the standard questions before wheeling me into the narrow tube for the MRI. The doctor ordered the test for my left hand, so I didn’t realize until then that my entire body would be inside the tube.

I answered no with some hesitation, because I hadn’t really thought about it. I didn’t recall being in a confined space before, other than an elevator. Yet now - as the bed beneath me inched forward toward the hollow tunnel - my heart raced. My face felt flushed. The technician’s final words offered little comfort.

“This will take around 45 minutes to an hour. Hold completely still. You can’t move at all.”

Forty-five minutes to an hour? Those words still lingered in my mind as I called out in desperation to Jesus. In that instant, I knew I couldn’t go through it alone. “I can’t do this without you, Lord. Please come into this tube with me.”

And over the loud hum of the machine, I heard Him whisper, “Focus only on me.” I closed my eyes and envisioned Jesus right beside me in the MRI tube. His own words came back to my mind as I stayed focused on that image. “Peace I give you… Do not let your heart be troubled…” Over and over the words repeated, until my heart rate slowed, and I felt myself settling into a deep sense of peace. 

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” (Mark 6:31 NIV)

Mark chapter 6 reveals a time when Jesus equipped the disciples and set them out to minister to many people. They traveled in pairs from one village to another on foot. They preached about repentance and prayed for healing for the sick. After returning and reporting about all they’d done, He knew exactly what they needed. A quiet place to commune with Him.

They had to climb into a boat to get to a quiet place. Maybe not quite what they expected, but with so much going on around them, this was the only way to get a few minutes of alone-time with their Savior. 

Hebrews 3:1 says, “...fix your thoughts on Jesus…” And just like the disciples learned that day, we can be intentional about finding quiet time with our Lord. We don’t have to wait for the perfect circumstances or for things in life to settle down. We can take the unexpected moments and turn them into a conversation with Him. Wherever we are, He will be present with us if we focus solely on His voice.

I can’t help but smile at the thought of enjoying the presence of Jesus during an MRI test. Although the test felt like only 15-20 minutes, I was surprised when the technician informed me, I had actually been in the machine for an hour and a half. Christ’s peaceful presence worked wonders for my anxious heart.   

Laying there perfectly still, I felt as if I heard Jesus say, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had more moments together like this?” And in that instant, I realized it took a total separation from everything else for me to fix my thoughts on Him. 

As we travel through our day today, let’s not wait for the perfect time to commune with the One who loves us most. He wants us to spend focused, undivided time with Him. When we turn our unexpected quiet places into time with Jesus, He will turn our anxiety into peace. Let’s embrace those unexpected places and make time to be alone with Jesus. 

Kristine Brown is a communicator at heart, sharing inspiration that highlights God’s powerful Word and redemptive grace. You’ll find weekly encouragement to help you “become more than yourself through God’s Word” at her website, kristinebrown.net. Kristine is the author of the book, Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan, and the upcoming companion devotional for teen girls. 

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