Light | Reader – Easter 2020
Silence and stillness before God (2 minutes)
Reading: Psalm 55:6-8
Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
yes, I would wander far away;
I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah.
I would hurry to find a shelter
from raging wind and tempest.
Throughout Jesus’ ministry of preaching, healing, and discipling we see Him withdraw from the crowds again and again in order to be quiet and alone with the Father. Jesus’ rhythms of intimacy with his Father was how he stayed renewed and empowered by the Spirit for His life and ministry. He taught His disciples to step away from the crowds and demands of the people in order to pray and rest. In the Psalms, David also found himself withdrawing to the mountains to pray, write, and find solitude before the Lord. (Ps. 55, 57, 142)
Today, I want to invite you into a paradigm shift as we move forward in this season of "self-isolation," to take this time as an opportunity to practice one of the hardest spiritual disciplines to master - solitude. Dallas Willard who wrote some of the contemporary classics on spiritual formation addresses this discipline in great detail. He categorizes solitude as a discipline of "abstinence." In The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teachings on Discipleship Willard says, "Solitude well practiced will break the power of busyness, haste, isolation, and loneliness. You will see that the world is not on your shoulders after all. You will find yourself, and God will find you in new ways." In the current space of self-isolation that we're all in, let us cling to Christ and ask Him to meet us here--in our living rooms, on our back porches, and in quiet places wherever we are.
Solitude, to begin, is uncomfortable. It feels like a sweater that went too long in the dryer and is just a little too tight. But as you wear it, it can loosen, give you room to breathe - and keep you warm. Of course, many of us still have to work from home and take care of our family; we can easily spend idle time scrolling, reading, or worrying...but in the midst of all of this, let us take a moment to grasp an opportunity we may not have had except for in this unique and strange situation. Let's invite the Lord into our midst and turn from isolation to solitude.
Question to consider this week: How can God be using this current situation to make me more like Him?
Action step: Plan to put aside 20 minutes today to practice intentional solitude not in your power, but in the power of the Spirit. Have grace with yourself, take a deep breath and grow in your awareness of the presence of Jesus. 'Be still and know' that in all of this He is still God (Ps. 46:10).
Prayer: Lord, in this strange new season, I ask that you would make me aware of your presence. Thank you for Your grace and provision during this time. Today, I pray that I would take the opportunity of isolation to seek solitude in Your presence because it is there where depth and transformation happen. In Jesus' name, amen.
Conclude with silence (2 minutes)