Assembling thoughts into words,
I have adapted and edited a portion of a subject from one of my journals.
There are components of various types of solitude with multiple goals.
It’s amazing, and sometimes frightening, the things we can learn from solitude.
Solitude doesn’t mean being alone. For we are not alone.
On the contrary, isolation means restricting the world from my circle of influence,
and inviting Christ in as my sole source of power and attention.
The above is also the meaning of Christian meditation.
Solitude with God means lengthy meditation in Christ’s presence as He guides me.
Note of clarification:
The Holy Spirit of God is my only Spirit Guide and the only correct spirit guide. All that is true emanates from Him alone as He passes on all He hears from God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. [John 16: 12-15]
An insightful author, Henri Nouwen, called solitude the “furnace of transformation.” This doesn’t refer to personal privacy for a short pit stop where we get a quick fix to reenter the race.
It’s more than that. It’s lengthier, concentrated, and at times frightening. It’s when God isolates us. Corrals us with no escape and seriously looks directly into the eyes of our hearts [“You hem me in…” (protection) Psalm 139].
It’s a necessary oasis of the soul of where we see ourselves, others, and God in new ways. But, unfortunately, it’s where much of the “clutter” of our life becomes identified. And defeated, thanks to the relentless heat of the “furnace.”
Here, something occurs, secret and unknown before. Soul surgery transpires as serenity replaces anxiety by resolving many inner struggles. Our minds may wander, but not for long before God redirects us back to the subject.
In solitude, struggles occur that no one else knows about us. Here, we fight inner battles that rarely become subjects for sermons or illustrations for blogs. God, who probes our deepest thoughts during sustained segments of solitude, opens our eyes to things that need attention. He makes us aware of those things we try to hide from others. Those collected remnants of fiery darts the Prince of Evil in the spiritual realm fired into our souls and lodged. Now is when delayed surgery becomes extensive and extended by the Lover of our Souls. At times, a painful surgical procedure of excision but necessary and well worth it.
[G.W. – Edited from my Journal]
“Prayer is an end to isolation. It is living our daily life with someone; with Him who alone can deliver us from solitude.” — Georges Lefevre
As with the Dark Night of the Soul, not all Christians have experienced this type of solitude. Others are well versed in it. It is all in God’s hands: who, what, where, when, why, and how.
“For God alone, my soul waits in silence and quietly submits to Him; my hope is in Him.” Psalm 62:5 AMP
“Search me, O, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23
Epilogue: Also, from my Journal.
When God reveals Himself in new ways, there is a time I must bear witness to His faithfulness when we seek Him with all we are, eschewing all fear. However, more often I sense I’m to keep it to ponder in the depths of my heart.
On a personal level living in the “furnace” of solitude, I developed an ongoing conversation with the Lord as a habit throughout most days,
from my morning greeting to my prayers before retiring into night’s slumber.
I talk with Him about everything I do, think, read, imagine, and experience.
Naturally, prayer becomes interspersed within such a conversation. However, realistically, every conversation with Him is prayer.
I ask his direction in making decisions and ask His guidance often even in the minutiae of the day.
Usually, this includes minor detail, such as when I ponder whether to do a thing now or later.
It has become a habit that I find makes each day a smoother path.
His every answer comes in unique ways of communicating. Have I ever misread Him? Of course. But He never misreads me when He corrects my course.
I’m a witness to His actions with my eyes and experience. I’m a witness. Thank you, Lord Jesus! You are alive!
The Lord continues to amaze me on so many personal levels.
There is another segment of solitude with God I call “Solitude with God amid the Crowd.” I may develop that for a future post. ~ G.W.