Solitude or Loneliness?
"One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock." Psalm 27:4-5
Do you sense God's presence in your life? Or are you feeling a little lost and lonely right now--maybe even abandoned by Him? If so, what's causing these feelings?
Solitude means sitting with God and seeking His heart for a reflection of your own. There is an alertness in solitude that tunes your senses to the incredible flow of life all around you. Loneliness means we expect someone else to supply the missing pieces of our selves. We want them to plant themselves in our lives in order to help us bear the fruit of love.
Through solitude we meet God in the deepest part of our heart and work together with Him to tend our garden. We put down deep roots in Him and allow Him to prune us so that the fruit of our lives will be plentiful.
In solitude, we find our identity through the creative initiative of Jesus. Solitude is having that quiet place with Him readily available at a moment's notice because it is just behind the door at which He is constantly knocking. He calls to us to come further in to the quiet and find ourselves there. In that space He defines us, He satisfies us, and He bears fruit in us. But we must turn off the television, turn away from the mall, power down our cell phones, and take five minutes to sit with Him.
So many times, we are running on empty and unwilling to search out the quiet stillness because we do not know how to sit with ourselves and be ourselves. We are uneasy and fear the quiet. But this kind of existence is fruitless. Instead, we must come to wellspring of life in the arms of Jesus.
As Rich Mullins once sang (in "Calling Out Your Name"), "I know this thirst will not last long, but it will soon drown in a song not sung in vain."
Don't sing your song in vain. Don't seek out the melody of others to refresh your spirit. Bring your starving loneliness to His table in the wilderness and find fulfillment and a fruitful solitude. Find yourself there.
Lord,I know that You did not intend for us to be alone and lonely. You created us to have fellowship with You and with each other. Help me to move from a place of loneliness to a place of solitude and contentment. Amen.