Jesus prayingIn our hectic world solitude is missing. As we age we have more time to be alone, and for some people solitude becomes loneliness. But there is a need to practice a measure of it.

When Moses escaped Egypt, he spent four decades in the wilderness with few people nearby. It gave him time to think about his life, to learn humility and trust in God, not just himself. When he saw the burning bush, he was ready to be a leader. (Ex.3).

When Saul obeyed the gospel in Damascus, his whole life changed. He needed some time alone, so he went away for a while in Arabia before proceeding with his new role as an apostle. (Gal.1:17-18). Sometimes we need space to make important changes in our thinking.

Jesus would often create time to spend alone with God. After feeding the 5,000, he went up into a mountain to pray for a while. (Mt.14:22-23).

Why these periods of solitude? These great men needed strength, strategy, wisdom, and time to clear up things that were troubling them. This could only be done by consulting God.

We don’t need years to do this. One can practice solitude in God’s presence in a half-hour’s time, or even less. Some Christians get up early to do this. Others find a few minutes in a favorite park. One has to innovate to find the time. Turn off the phone. Spend time with God. Then go back into your busy life stronger and wiser.

– Tim Johnson