Luke 5:15-16 says, “But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. ”Mark 1:35 says, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”
Why do we find getting time with the Lord so hard? The scriptures above, along with others, show that Jesus knew the importance of spending time alone with His Father, our God. I have stepped down from my day-to-day responsibilities at work leaving me more free time. These first few free months have been great. I have had the opportunity to travel more to see friends and family which has been wonderful. My daily schedule is now a blank slate to be filled in whatever way I desire. But wait….Why do I still feel so busy? How does my calendar get filled so quickly? The answer is life’s vacuum can quickly replace the extra time one thinks will be available when our job responsibility ends.
A Vacuum is defined as space in which there is no matter or in which the pressure is so low that any particles in the space do not affect any processes being carried on there. Solitude could be seen in the same way. We need to get away by ourselves like Jesus did. It allows us to shut out the pressures and distractions of the world so we can “Be still and remember He is our God” https://biblehub.com/niv/psalms/46-10.htm “The entirety of Psalms 46 is written in the third person to remind the reader (or listener) that God is their strength and at work in the midst of their struggle”. I heard someone explain meditation the other day as being so much in tune with yourself that you aren’t distracted by anything else happening around you. It reminded me that I need to get time with God so I don’t conform to the pattern of this world, but instead, focus on the renewing of your mind. https://www.biblehub.com/romans/12-1.htm I can honestly say that my day goes better if I have 1st, spent time with God. If you don’t believe me, here is what Martin Luther says about solitude. “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” “The less I pray, the harder it gets; the more I pray, the better it goes.”
There are times where we are struggling and feeling discouraged. Remembering God loves you and is present in your life can help you into a place of gratitude. Here is a quote from the devotional First15 “If you long to be loved, it’s in the alone time where you’ll discover the wellspring of affections found in the heart of God. If you need someone to listen, it’s in solitude you’ll discover the always listening ear of your heavenly Father. And if you need a friend, it’s in time spent alone fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit that you will find a friend who will never leave you, forsake you, hurt you, or mislead you.”
If you have gotten to this place, here is your and, quite honestly, my homework from St. Anselm of Canterbury, “Enter into the inner chamber of your mind. Shut out all things save God and whatever may aid you in seeking God; and having barred the door of your chamber, seek him.” My hope is you will find the everlasting love of God as you seek him in solitude.
If you do the homework, I would love to hear how practicing solitude and reneimpacted your life. I can be reached by email at [email protected]. Please feel free to forward this blog post to others who you think might be encouraged by it.