We have learned so far that there are many benefits to taking the time to be in solitude and reconnect with ourselves, with God, and with others. Well, Jesus used solitude. Let’s learn of His example.
All great people of faith took time to practice solitude. Enoch walks with God, Abraham was called to a life of solitude, Moses spent part of his life in solitude, Jesus recognized the power of solitude and became our example.
Have you ever wondered if Jesus also spent time in solitude, looking for peace, quiet, and refreshment? Do you know if there are verses in the Bible that prove that Jesus spent time alone to reconnect with His Father, with Himself, and others?
Let us take a look into Jesus’ practices regarding the time he spent in solitude:
Jesus used solitude to prepare for ministry.
In Matthew 41-11, Jesus fasts for 40 days in the wilderness in preparation for the inauguration of His ministry. We should seek solitude to intentionally prepare ourselves to plan our short- and long-term goals in life.
Jesus used solitude to grieve when He experienced lost.
In Matthew 14:13, Jesus receives the bad news of John the Baptist’s execution and withdrew himself to grieve. We should seek solitude to recover from inevitable losses and disappointment.
Jesus used solitude to hear from God.
In Matthew 17:1-9, Jesus seeks the silence of a lonely mountain and God speaks through the transfiguration. We should seek solitude in order to listen to God’s Spirit.
Jesus used solitude before a major challenge. In Matthew 26:36-40, Jesus wants to pray alone in the garden before He faces the cross. We should seek solitude, so we can find our quiet center and pray as a looming challenge approaches.
Jesus used solitude for renewal.
In Luke 5:16, we learn that Jesus often withdrew himself to lonely places to pray. He does this after draining seasons of His life. We should seek solitude for rest, rejuvenation, and renewal.
Could you imagine if this year, as we are still isolated because of the pandemic, we integrate solitude as a spiritual discipline? Could you imagine the transformation that we would experience? What will happen in our families if we begin to teach them how to practice solitude?
Solitude is the secret to reconnecting
I believe that solitude should be one of our most important resolutions this year because solitude is the secret to reconnecting with God, ourselves, and others. Solitude is the secret to reconnecting:
- With God and hearing His voice.
- With our heart and reflecting upon our spiritual condition.
- And understanding our identity.
- With ourselves and being cleansed of a worldly mindset.
- And realigning our priorities and goals.
- And having compassion toward others.
Could you imagine if the Department of Education added developing the discipline of solitude to its curriculum? We would have less identity issues with our students and young people, less self-esteem issues, and less suicides and depression because solitude is the secret to reconnecting with God, with themselves, and others.
The call of the Florida administration for 2021 is to reconnect. But this is the problem. We cannot reconnect with others unless we reconnect with God and with ourselves first. The reconnection we want begins with solitude. Solitude is the answer to reconnecting with others. It is time to talk about solitude as a lost discipline and bring a revival to our community.
This is what I want you to do this week
People are perishing in loneliness. It is time to transform loneliness into solitude and reconnect with God, with ourselves, and others.
Find a place
Think of a quiet, safe place where you can escape from the distraction and chaos of your life. A sacred space set apart to be with God where other voices cannot reach you, technology cannot distract, and intrusive sounds cannot interrupt.
Set a time
Make a sacred appointment. Put it on the calendar. Other responsibilities will easily push this appointment aside. Resist the call to attend to “higher priority” or “urgent” tasks.
At first, we may feel lonely, awkward, fearful, or out of control. If this practice is new to you, start small. Ten minutes is a good place to start. Experiment with what works for your everyday reality.
Solitude is the secret to reconnecting with God, yourself, and others. God bless you.