Today's reading took us through Matthew 14-16.
In chapter 14, I was struck by just one single verse. After Jesus hears of John the Baptist's death, he "withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself" (verse 13). More than once, we see Jesus going off to be by himself. He understood the importance of getting alone with the Father. Stephen W. Smith writes in his book, Soul Shaping the following:
"Moses encountered God on the backside of a mountain. David explored the work of God in pastures and caves. Jesus visited lonely places to do His soul work. Jesus knew that something happens in lonely places that does not happen in places filled with people." (page 37).
Jesus knew that spiritual transformation takes place when you get alone with the Father. I wonder how many of His followers take His lead on this discipline and take the time to get alone to a very quiet, "lonely" place. It is here that transformation, renewal, and growth occurs.