Solitude… I looked it up, it’s still in the dictionary, even if it’s in very few lives any more. It has as it’s core the act of being alone, separated from others. Our society doesn’t place much of a priority on it… but God does.
Solitude is something that God has placed in my life from my earliest days on the farm. I mentioned in one of my first posts here how I used to take advantage of living on the edge of nowhere to take long walks. No one else around… just me… and my LORD Jesus. I was taught that everything was under His sovereign control, so, therefore, everything has a God-ordained purpose behind it. So, I wanted to develop as close a relationship with my Maker as I possibly could. Those are some of my most cherished memories.
Psalm 46:10 is the verse that says “Be still, and know that I am God.” That cuts so cross grain to our current society where we feel the need to always be in touch with others (we even have our cell phones plugged right into our ears so our hands are free to do other things… like typing on our computers to keep up with our social networks).
1 Kings chapter 19 is where God gets Elijah’s attention on a mountain. Elijah is told to go there to hear from God. He is driven into a cave to get away from the fierce wind, earthquake, and fire… all displays of power; just where you would think you would find an all-powerful God. But, God draws him out of the cave by a gentle whisper (according to the NIV). The subtle breeze is where God confronts the prophet with the reassurance of His sovereign plan.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray continuously” NIV. Have you ever figured out how to do that? Solitude can help you nurture a spirit of communicating with God on an ongoing basis… always keeping a line open to the throne room of God, if you let it. But, you have to make a conscious effort to bring it about.
I mentioned in my post titled GBC how God told me He wasn’t ready to use me at that time, but that He would let me know when the time was right. Well, He has used the 2 plus decades to teach me many things that can’t be taught in a textbook. When I tell people that I’m a truck driver they automatically think of someone who is out for weeks at a time seeing the country. My driving jobs haven’t been that intensive, they’re usually daily, so I’m home every night. But, I’m usually in the truck by myself, sometimes with a radio to listen to, but, often it is turned off.
I love to listen to Christian radio stations. God has used various songs and sermons to touch and transform me. I’ve often heard an interview with somebody where they say something that makes me respond: “why didn’t somebody explain that to me when I was a teenager, my life would have been so much smoother if I had known that then.” That’s a big reason why I started writing in the first place. My first book is about an uncle who gets a chance to spend a summer with his only nephew, (I called it Uncle Ray’s Summer). The teenager’s Dad has been missing for nine years, so Uncle Ray has a tremendous opportunity to instill his lifetime of Christian living into this impressionable young man. It quickly became obvious to me that that book is a full length novel. God has since given me two other books that I’ve completed and I’m looking for a publisher to put into print for me. I firmly believe that it’s the relationship that I’ve nurtured through the times of solitude that have kept me open to God’s leading to know what to write (I’ll get into that in more depth in later posts here).
I realize that some people thrive from being around other people, that’s just the way God hard-wired them. I’m not saying that we never need to be around other people, but that all important relationship with our Heavenly Father needs to take a very high precedent in our life. How many times did Jesus’ disciples wake up to find His sleeping place vacant? They had to look outside for Him as He was spending that all important time alone with His Heavenly Father before the hectic demands of a miracle worker’s day began. It’s not accidental that that is repeated throughout the gospel accounts of His ministry. If He placed such a high priority on it shouldn’t we?
I’m hard-wired to be alone, that’s just my personality, so I guess it’s more comfortable for me to be alone. But that doesn’t mean that it’s less important for more people-person types, just more of a challenge. Christianity isn’t designed to be a mere religion of regulations and rituals… it’s designed to be a rich relationship with our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ in response to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Anything short of that is cheating yourself out of something very beautiful. One thing that I did hear as a teenager that hit home with me was that we should develop a relationship with Jesus that is so real that by the time we get to meet him face-to-face in eternity there’s no big change; I know that’s not totally possible, but that’s still my aim.
How about you? Have you studied the Bible enough to learn intimate details about Jesus (do you know that He liked to snack on figs, or that one of His favorite foods is broiled fish)? Have you asked the Holy Spirit to illuminate God’s Word to you as you open your Bible to read a section on your own?
God longs for you to know Him, but you have to make the priority to spend time with Him, preferably one-on-one.
I’ll see you later. Wade