Photo by Mary Holt
Is There a Blessing in Being Alone?
By Rebekah L. Holt
Written in 2005
"So come out from among [unbelievers], and separate (sever) yourselves from them, says the Lord, and touch not [any] unclean thing; then I will receive you kindly and treat you with favor, and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:17 & 18 AMP
Is there a blessing in being alone? In our Christian walk, we often find ourselves struggling with this issue of loneliness, in a spiritual and often, a physical sense. We are a peculiar people that basically stick out as the world's sore thumb. Ignored, scorned and rejected. Why? Well—we home school... home church... believe in courtship...rely on God to plan our life...we want to be homemakers...we want a wife to stay at home... we let God plan our family size and timing (The World and sometimes, Christians think, "You're CRAZY!"). Thus, we find ourselves, by ourselves even in "Christian" circles, sometimes feebly and questioningly standing our ground. It takes a true commitment and a constant renewal of our minds in Christ to see beyond our present circumstances to perceive the blessings of solitude.
Looking at God's Word, we can see that God used solitude as a number one element of reaching the devote men and women of the Bible in a special, personal way.
The Lord drew aside Moses to the burning bush so He could speak and command Moses to a life work. Moses was never the same again. The virtuous woman, Ruth was a widow who chose to alienate herself from her pagan family and live as an alien among the Jews until her miraculous marriage to Boaz. Ruth was the Lord's instrument to bless a nation and the world—the great grandmother of David! Elijah was all alone (and afraid for his life) when God spoke to him in a still small voice. Our Savior Jesus Christ went by Himself to fast and pray to His Father. It is recorded that God spoke to Christ at these times in a cloud. By studying the patriarchs of the Bible, we can unearth a common strain of "quiet times" that God used to reveal Himself to them in fascinating and personal ways.
God uses the quiet, empty moments to get our focus on Him and in living out our Christian life. By being alone, we are not misled by others—unbelievers or believers. Without distractions, Christians learn that God is enough in Himself. Hannah Whitall Smith wrote:
"No soul can really be at rest until it has given up dependence on everything else and has been forced to depend on the Lord alone... If God is what He would seem to be from His revealings; if He is indeed the "God of all comfort;" if He is our Shepherd; if He is really and truly our Father; if, in short, all the many aspects He has told us of His character and His ways are actually true, then we must come to the positive conviction that He is, in Himself alone, enough for all our needs and that we may rest in Him absolutely and forever."
In learning that God is truly enough to make life worth living, what are we supposed to do? From observation, it is never sit around and wait for a resurrection! It is a good time to apply serving Christ wholeheartedly, laying aside our preferences and learning to live for others.
"It is good for a man that he should bear the yoke [of divine disciplinary dealings] in his youth. Let him sit alone uncomplainingly and keep silent because [God] has laid [the yoke] upon him [for his benefit]." Lamentations 3:27-28 AMP
How can we serve Christ? It starts from childhood, boys taking out the trash and girls doing the dishes. It does not have to be a segregated, sophisticated service to be truly serving God. Mission work, volunteering and ministries are often classified as the superior services for the REALLY dedicated Christian to serve the Lord. What about simply a young woman taking over the grocery shopping for her family? How about a young man working diligently and thoroughly to repair a client's septic system? Does God view these as menial tasks? "I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience and thy works; and the last to be more than the first" (Revelation 2:19).
This is a specific area the Lord has worked with in my life. I am at home and have often been discontent in the small sphere of even 11 family members. However, the Lord divined to me that if I did not learn to willingly and selflessly serve my family, how could God bless me with my own home, husband and children? How could I be a submissive wife, if I could not first learn to be compliant with my parent's desires?
"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much...And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?" Luke 16:10a, 12
Yes, I can attest that there is life fulfillment in washing those dishes that keep reappearing, folding the clothes, giving a spelling test, teaching a trying computer student, and braiding someone's hair. It just takes having Christ's view and by taking up our cross.
"When we get to the Cross, we do not go through it; we abide in life to which the Cross is the gateway."-- Oswald Chambers
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also]." Matthew 16:24 AMP
Sometimes our ideas of Christian service are wonderful, but fall short of the purpose the Lord has for us. Christ Himself, subsequent His glorious resurrection, prepared the disciples a cooked meal. Christ met the mortals at their needs. He did not feed them on His word alone. By working or learning how to work, our lives are being fashioned, refined and God's will no longer stands in itself, but gradually His Will becomes our will—wholeheartedly.
Live in the true realization of Jesus Christ—seeking His plans, methods, values, priorities and reality with a Bible in hand and a prayer in your heart. There is freedom in truth. "You will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free." John 8:32
If we are faithfully following Jesus as our example, we will not be well loved, and we will be separated from many. He was our perfect example and guide. Was Jesus popular? Very few genuinely loved Him. Many were fascinated for a while with His teachings and lifestyle but then fell away from Him. Christ cramped their style! Many hated Him and devised evil for Him. Christ was accused even by His own brothers! Christ calls His people unto Himself. He did not promise friendships, marriage or acceptance. Yet, Christ does promise salvation from sins and eternal life with God! By having Christ's view on what our Christian life entails, we will not cheat ourselves out of a contented mind and a happy life by believing anything but the truth.
Looking through God's eyes, there are specific gifts of being alone. Allow God to draw you into Himself in these moments of quiet solitude. Be contented in serving Him wholeheartedly. Delight yourself in God's will; let His Will be your will—His desires equal your desires. God delights in giving us the desires of our heart in His flawless timing. He will give us the grace to wait on Him.
"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desire of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:4 - 5
"And He said unto me, 'My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9