I was beaming with smiles as I received the much cherished Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm) licence, shortly after swearing to the Pharmacist’s Oath. Celebrations were at its peak as friends and well-wishers graced the Induction ceremony.
I had full assurance that the future (as regards my pharmacy career was bright) hence I prodded on with a positive energy as though satan never existed! (winks)
It was four (4) months down the line and there was no semblance of progress (my thoughts) as I waited earnestly for the God who had earlier told me about the exact location of my internship placement. Honestly, I thought the odds were against me as I struggled daily to hold on to the Word of God I had earlier received.
I decided to go on a personal retreat so as to really confirm the validity of what God told me and those times were the best times ever. The waiting period was not like taking a walk in the park. Although fear had almost gripped my heart, those moments of refreshing were times I looked forward to again as I regained fresh strength and reinforced convictions.
Finally, I was absorbed as an intern pharmacist in the sixth (6th) month, exactly where God had earlier told me. I was learning faith and trust experientially.
In a christian world characterized by many important activities which are quite legitimate and worth undertaking, Solitude has become the believer’s means of being deliberately alone with God. Finding Spiritual Freshness in Solitude is priceless indeed!
Kindly refer to my previous post on UNDERSTANDING THE PLACE OF STILLNESS IN PERSONAL PRAYERS
In a dispensation where prayers, personal bible studies and conscious meditations are being constantly obstructed by the slight beep of our phones, the tender voice of solitude is gradually losing relevance! People who are almost always alone in seclusion are usually viewed as being ‘social recluses” and ultimate wasters of precious time.
Finding spiritual freshness in solitude is a precious practice that must be willingly and intentionally engaged, not just in prayers, but in all other spiritual activities.
Literally, solitude is defined as a state or situation of isolation, a state of loneness.
In an informal parlance, solitude is described best as a state of hibernation.
Solitude can be practiced in different modes; via physical, social and spiritual solitude aimed at staying away from people, an exercise or a an environmental influence.
When was the last time you really took some time to go out to someplace serene, calm and full of purified air in order to think through certain issues that are cumbersome? Some of us have taken wrong decisions, not giving thought to allowing ourselves some moments of being separate from the larger crowd so as to reason more intelligently.
Inventors, Entrepreneurs/Business thespians, Religious Leaders, Writers and all who have made giant strides in their respective fields will tell you that their treasured moments were their moments of solitude. Whilst men slept, such times were maximized, as several inspirational ideas flew through their minds when they are disengaged from the larger crowd.
In the beginning, the Almighty God understood the importance of solitude when He set about the work of creation. This explains why He created the heavens and the earth, the firmaments, living organisms, the solid earth crust and water bodies. All these were in place, before he decided to create the first man. The work of creation was first done by God, before Adam was created (with a life assignment of naming the creatures).
Interestingly, Adam did all of these in alone, probably because he was the only living human, until God declared an end to his singleness. Eve came into the picture.
Perhaps, this is the reason why God designed the man to be alone, busy with the his God-given task, until God saw the need for partnership.
As stated above, solitude can be classified into:
This form of solitude involves a dissociation of a person from physical contacts. In such cases, the person can be said to be incommunicado. Physical solitude can be self-induced or imposed upon an individual by another.
Self induced physical solitude involves a deliberate withdrawal from friends, family, an exercise or a particular environment, all for the reason of being alone. Although, there are times when one could be in the midst of others, yet he is withdrawn (solitude) and it could be for various reasons.
Physical solitude by imposition could be seen in cases where people are isolated or quarantined for health reasons, as in prevention of disease spread or as a a way of medical rehabilitation. It could also be by way of imprisonment as it relates to criminal cases.
Most times, some persons can choose to stay away from all forms of social activities or certain exercises they had previously been involved in. Example, a choice to stay away from friends, groups social media platforms and certain environmental influences.
Although, we are concerned about the Holy-spirit inspired practice of solitude, some religious sect also engage the principle of solitude as in yoga or other mind-body supernatural communication patterns. However, we are concerned about the principle of solitude as a means of refreshing and a source of rest, a kind of “home away from home”
Spiritual solitude is aimed at achieving spiritual goals. Additionally, this form of solitude can be all-encompassing, i.e involving physical and social solitude.
“Finding Spiritual Freshness in Solitude” can be best explained on reading through the following scriptures:
Matthew 14:23 – And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
Psalms 68:6 – God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry [land].
Mark 1:35 – And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
Matthew 6:6 – But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Luke 6:12 – And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
Mark 6:31 – And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
Mark 14: 35 – And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him
Our Lord Jesus Christ portrayed a perfect example of solitude in many instances in scriptures and it was always fruitful. His lifestyle was featured in finding spiritual freshness in solitude.
So why solitude?
Leviticus 6: 10-11 And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.
And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place.
Solitude creates the freshness that is needed for spiritual progress.
Solitude creates the ambient condition for meaningful intra- and/or inter-exchange of thoughts and intents. In solitude is freedom, self-consciousness is grossly diminishes and almost lost, and we are most sincere in this state.
Solitude bears so much on the bond of connection as the Holy Spirit finds physical and emotional space to commune with the believer.
Regrettably, God seeks to relay messages to us promptly to us through prayers and His Word. However, the busyness of our bodies and our minds have granted Him little or no time to communicate with us, since we quickly dash out from our spaces of communion.
Fortunately, Our Father is loving and full of mercy, not wanting us to miss out on important details especially in an urgent/delicate situation. Hence, the decision to resort to dreams and other means of catching our attention. A lot of us have become too busy and finding little or no space to really spend quality time with God so as to have him relate to us His will for a particular season.
Simply put, solitude can be likened to a period of a personal engagement with the spirit of the living God.
Gen 32:24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
Dealing with unsettled issues can be quite cumbersome and this can hamper one’s destiny and God’s promises over a life. Jacob had to be alone to settle this once and for all. The lingering issues over your life requires you to be deliberate about settling them alone; in solitude. As profitable as corporate prayers are, personal prayers are fruitful, when intentionally engaged.
Make a commitment to find time to be with Jesus, not just in times of desperate need (as this could pose a subconscious interference). Spending time with Him is an act of respect, submission and independence. I would also love to hear your candid opinions on the subject of finding spiritual freshness in solitude.
Thanks for reading and God bless you
Keep a date with the blog as we shall be exploring a unique woman who made history in scriptures. Your guess may be as good as mine (winks).
Saying yes to Jesus Christ today? That’s the best decision in life.I ‘ll be glad to walk you through!