Sometimes people treat “alone” like a disease that needs a vaccination or a dysfunction that requires a remedy. We tend to fill our minds with music, social media, events, appointments, text messages, books, entertainment and anything we can conveniently grasp to immunize us from this “scary” state of being alone and quiet. It’s a conundrum to me that we’ll tolerate zombies, vampires, ghosts & spooky Halloween stuff with a lite comic wink but what shivers our spine & tweaks our nerves is solitude & the thought of being alone.
Yet being alone is an important ingredient for being human. Consider some of the incredible outcomes Jesus experienced from being alone:
Jesus’ testing in Matthew 4 was initiated by the Holy Spirit leading Him into the wilderness – He came out of that experience with anointing & power.
Jesus went up on a mountain by Himself to pray through the night – when He came down, He chose His 12 disciples who perpetuated Jesus’ ministry.
Gethsemane was an alone time for Jesus – He surrendered His will so that we could live in reconciliation with God
I get that we aren’t Jesus, but maybe some of the things we most desperately need come from what we most ardently avoid 🙂
“I’m not your enemy, please stop fighting me!” I said to one of my kids recently. Enemies can be very interesting as I’ve seen from reading about King David in 1 & 2 Samuel. He was an interesting man and had many of the challenges in his life that we face – external & internal enemies.
David’s external enemies were people who opposed his progress – people who didn’t want him to be king, his brothers who derided him for being the troublesome little brother, Nabal who thought he was just another slacker looking for a handout, etc. We all have people & even situations in our lives that seem to oppose our progress and efforts to accomplish things & to go places. Perhaps we have external enemies to develop internal strength & fortitude.
David also had several internal enemies. In my opinion, David’s internal enemies were more harmful to him than his external enemies. Here are some internal enemies that David had, that might be familiar to us:
focus: David didn’t control his focus & therefore his passions which resulted in his relationship with Bathsheba & the death of her husband, Uriah (read Ps 51)
confronting: David didn’t confront his son Amnon about raping Tamar (Amnon’s half-sister); David didn’t confront Absalom about killing Amnon; both occasions combined to make for heartache in David’s life (killing, rejection, dishonor, rebellion, relationship breakdown, etc)
counting: at the end of David’s reign, he made a decree for the Israelites to be counted. Perhaps David wanted this census to measure his success, power, influence, etc. I don’t know why David made this census, but it was displeasing to God – some kind of wrong motive.
Let’s be attentive to the weakspots / enemies in our hearts & thinking – they can most certainly be more destructive than any external enemy 🙂