Daily Encouragement: Day 298

Adapted from Handbook to Spiritual Growth

THE DISCIPLINE OF SOLITUDE

Solitude was an indispensable practice in the life of the Lord Jesus (see Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; John 6:15) as it was in the lives of all the great saints who have preceded us. Solitude transcends loneliness—whenever Jesus sought solitude, it was to be in the presence of His Father. Solitude also transcends place, since Jesus practiced an inner solitude of heart and mind even when He was in the midst of people.

It is in solitude that we remove ourselves from the siren calls and illusions of our society and wrestle with the need for ongoing transformation as we meet with the Lord. Extended times spent in solitude can be frightening, since they remove our external props and force us to confront sinful and selfish attitudes and behaviors. However, this is as it should be, since this process drives us to the grace, forgiveness, and love of Christ.

I encourage you to find a good time and place to meet alone daily with God, but don’t stop there. Seek to carry an inner spirit of solitude with you into your day, even when you’re in the presence of others.