Several years ago I found an isolated place where I could sit quietly and listen for God’s voice. A place where I could bask in the wonder of his creation and pray.
Cooks Butte Park, a wilderness park on the summit of a hill where we used to live, hosted towering fir trees and a western slope with a lookout point that offered an unobstructed view of the Willamette Valley and the Oregon Coast Range in the distance.
I recall watching as the setting sun, a huge, glowing, unpeeled orange, slowly rested on the shoulders of a distant mountain. As it rolled over the horizon, it kissed the sky with a flush of reds, pinks, purples, and blues. Darkness tiptoed into the valley as street lights, car lights, house lights, and business lights greeted its silent return. As the bird-songs faded with the light, the crickets tuned up their fiddles and played for each other and for me.
In those twilight hours, I had some amazing conversations with God. I sometimes wonder if Jesus had such a place. Does Luke 22:39 give us a clue? I think so. Luke tells us, “And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him.”
We’re all familiar with the fact that Jesus went to Gethsemane the night before his crucifixion. There he sweat drops of blood as he agonized in prayer. Perhaps he went there on that night because it had become a place of refuge where he would customarily talk with his Father. A place where he would pray for the city whose lights glistened below. A place where he could pray for his men and those who would follow him in the future.
Like Jesus, we all need a place of isolation. A setting where we can enjoy God’s creation and listen for his voice while we worship and intercede.