“Lonely times are preparatory times, but we will be able to see this and embrace the goodness of it if we make God’s purposes our own.”- Lydia Brownback, Finding God in My Loneliness
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”- Psalm 42:1 (NIV)
Ruth Graham concludes Chapter 7 of Transforming Loneliness as she notes how it’s possible to transform our feelings of sad loneliness into times of productive solitude. First, we give our loneliness to God in prayer. Ask for God’s help. Next, nourish your solitude with praise. Simply begin to praise Him. Furthermore, Richard Foster (Celebration of Discipline) adds:
“The purpose of solitude is to see and hear.”
Therefore, the reason of going into our inner room (Matthew 6:6), or prayer closet, is that we close the door on all outward distractions. Above all, God’s already waiting for you in that secret place. And He’ll meet you there. To draw near to God, it’s important to get alone with Him.
In addition, Ms. Graham contrasts solitude and loneliness. Solitude = intentional, invited, serves a purpose. However, loneliness barges in like an uninvited guest. Thus, it’s dreaded and endured. As a result, Ruth exhorts, choose to devote your lonely times to God’s purpose. Consequently, they’ll be transformed to the treasures of solitude.
In conclusion, Ms. Graham offers these words of hope:
“What better time to draw closer to God than those moments when we are alone and lonely? There is no interference when we are alone. . . . The decision to use your lonely moments to draw closer to God can transform your loneliness into rich solitude. He promises He will more than fill up your empty spaces and give you a clear vision of who He is.”
Today’s question: What Bible verses most help your see lonely times as preparatory times? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Where Christ remodels us – solitude”