When is your next appointment with God?
“There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech.” —C.H. Spurgeon
Robert Louis Stevenson told a story about a storm that threatened to dash a ship against a rocky coast— an event that would spell certain doom for its passengers.
In the midst of the terror, a daring young man made the dangerous trip up to the deck and the wheelhouse, where he saw the pilot at the helm, calmly steering the ship against the currents, safely to sea.
The pilot saw the young man watching him and smiled. Then, the daring passenger returned below and encouraged his fellow passengers: “I have seen the face of the pilot, and he smiled. All is well.”
At regular intervals of our spiritual journey, we need a glimpse at the pilot’s face to reassure us we’re okay. Making the solitary journey, every so often, to the wheelhouse—to sense God’s sovereignty, authority, and faithfulness afresh—nurtures and nourishes our souls. A break in the schedule, a season of solitude before the Lord, is our trip to the wheelhouse.
To enter into solitude and silence with the Lord is to take your spiritual life seriously. It is to genuinely acknowledge your need to quiet the noise of life, to pause, in order to give God your undivided attention.
In solitude, He begins to free us from the rat race and remind us that He is “the One in whom we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). In solitude, our thoughts and our desires are reoriented toward God, so we become less entangled with lesser affections.
He doesn’t need our religious striving; He desires a relationship with us.
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:24-27).
Jesus took time away. On regular occasions, He sent His disciples and those to whom He was ministering away so He could be alone with the Father.
“After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone” (Matthew 14:23).
“At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him” (Luke 4:42).
In fact, Luke tells us this was a regular part of His routine: “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).
How often do we give God our undivided attention?
Let’s be sure to set an appointment!
My prayer this week—Father, thank you for meeting me in solitude and silence. I confess that I often fill my time with frivolous things in comparison to you. Will you help me make time with you a regular part of my life and calendar?