Tag Archives: solitude

Wisdom Wednesday: We Need Each Other

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“He that separateth himself seeketh his own desire and rageth against all sound wisdom.” —Proverbs 18:1 ASV

Have you ever wished you could just get away from it all?  I was able to get away two years ago and stay on Carolina Beach all by myself for a week.  It was great, but it did get lonely, especially when I had no one with whom to share the sunrises.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to seek solitude for a time.  Even Jesus did.  Sometimes we need to get away to pray, reflect and rest, which is what I did during my time away, but there is a difference between seeking solitude and isolating ourselves.  Seeking solitude is generally temporary and for the purpose of being refreshed, whereas isolation is generally an effort to shut others out to avoid something difficult or painful and to engage in something that makes us feel good and takes our minds off of things— escaping from real life.  Proverbs 18:1 says, “He that separateth himself seeketh his own desire and rageth against all sound wisdom.”  Sometimes it starts off small and innocently, spending time engaged in an activity by ourselves for a couple of hours until it becomes most of the day or night.  We might even reason that we are not alone, we have online friends.  Although online friends are real people, if we neglect the people around us, we may eventually find ourselves disconnected and truly alone.

“It is not good to be alone, even in Paradise.”  —Yiddish proverb

You have probably heard the saying, “There is safety in numbers.”  A Nigerian proverb says, “As long as you stay in a group, the lion will stay hungry.”  1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  Lions generally hunt by trying to remain covert, either by stalking or ambushing.  They try to choose the closest and easiest prey, especially one that is separated from the rest of the herd.  When hunting large prey, the female lionesses generally work together to surround the herd and try to isolate a single animal.  The same is true of Satan.  He knows we are more vulnerable when isolated.  That’s part of the reason we are encouraged not to forsake getting together with others.  (Hebrews 10:25)  We need each other.

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.  Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?  And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”  —Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

We need each other.  Someone needs you.

Photo credit:  A composite of photos by jivemm and cpsUK.


The Master Craftsman

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Yesterday as I was resting in a hammock and trying to practice the spiritual discipline of solitude and silence and seeking God, a brief vision came to mind of wood being turned on a lathe.  As I saw small shavings and sawdust being cast off into the air, the feeling that God is turning and shaping me into something beautiful came to mind.  And though the instruments are sharp, I can rest in the knowledge that the Master Craftsman will never suddenly gouge too deeply or begin the process too soon.  My Heavenly Father knows what I am made of; some parts are so very sensitive and respond to his shaping instantly while others, perhaps more dense, need more time.

I want to seek Him; I need to seek Him as, the Psalmist declared, the thirsty deer seeking cool, clear water.  I need it even when my feelings rebel at the idea because I’m too tired or busy.  My feelings may change moment-by-moment, but the Lord never changes.  Despite what I might feel or view about His work, He has given me a solemn promise that I will come out – at the end – like His Matchless Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because He never lets me down, I am able to patiently endure his shaping and crafting.  At times the process seems so…so inexorable but, I know it is worth it all because His Word has declared it so.  Thank you, Father, for Your presence and continued work in my life.


Love Sometimes Comes in Waves

My Father's LoveDo you ever wonder if God really loves you?  Or have you ever felt unworthy of His love?

I attended my 30th class reunion last month and was also able to spend some time with my mom, as well as a week on the beach by myself.  A business associate owns a condo right on the beach, so I took the opportunity to stay there and use the time to reflect on things.

One day while strolling down the nearby pier, I noticed the beach seemed to end in the distance, so I decided to check it out the next day.  It was cloudy when I started, so I didn’t think I’d need sunglasses.  But by the time I was nearing the inlet where a few fisherman had driven their four-wheel trucks to take advantage of the location, the sun was peeking through the clouds and creating some glare.  I wished I’d brought my sunglasses.  As I reached the inlet, I spotted a pair of sunglasses in the waves!  They were women’s sunglasses!  While I hadn’t offered up a prayer for them, I thanked my Father all the same.  What a pleasant and unexpected surprise!

The next day I decided to walk in the opposite direction to check out the boardwalk.  I wanted to feel the sand between my toes, so, with a little red plastic child’s bucket in hand for shells, I started off with my flip flops in the bucket not knowing if I’d need shoes in one of the shops.  A short way into the walk, the bucket handle developed a crack which eventually turned into a break.  I attempted to hold the handles together and carry the bucket normally, but the broken ends kept sliding apart.  How inconvenient.  Remembering God’s provision of the sunglasses, this time I prayed and asked if He would send something to hold the handles together.  I kept watching for some twine or seaweed or something similar as I continued to walk.  Suddenly something red in the waves caught my attention – a small deflated red balloon matching my little red bucket!  I chased it down and tied it to the broken handles; the stretchy rubber was the perfect material to hold the handle halves together and keep them from slipping.  Thank you, Father, for expressing Your love to me during a time of physical, emotional, and spiritual need.

If you wonder why similar things have never happened to you, or maybe think I make far too much of ‘coincidental’ provision from God, perhaps it might be good to consider the Person of the God of the Bible.   The song You Love Me Anyway by Sidewalk Prophets comes to mind… “With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace, And then alone in the night, I still called out for You, So ashamed of my life, my life, my life, But you love me anyway…”  And like Casting Crowns wrote in Who Am I?, “Not because of who I am.  But because of what You’ve done.  Not because of what I’ve done.  But because of who You are…”

God loves you, too, and He’s waiting to express His love to you.  It probably won’t be in the same way or even a way you expect, but maybe you should go for a walk or take some alone time to reflect on things, and keep your eyes… and ears open.  “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”  (Psalm 34:18)


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