The context of grace – enter solitude

By Dave Henning / December 7, 2021

“We enter into solitude first of all to meet our Lord and to be with Him and Him alone.  Only in the context of grace can we face our sin; only in the place of healing do we dare to show our wounds; only with a single-minded attention to Christ can we give up our clinging fears and face our own true nature.”- Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart

“Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.”- Exodus 33:11 (ESV)

Ruth Graham concludes Chapter 8 of Transforming Loneliness as she talks about what it means to cultivate solitude.  It means to tend, manage, and enrich.  Most significantly, Jesus did all that and more in His earthly life.  In addition, Ruth observes, Jesus also inhabited that solitude.  Here inhabit means to abide in, dwell in, occupy, lodge, or nest.

And just like Jesus used solitude with His Father, we too can use such solitude.  To refresh and recharge, heal from grief, prepare for major decisions, and bask in the Father’s glory.

However, as H. D. Spence and Joseph S. Exell note in The Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 16, self-will is the root of sin.  Consequently, they write: “The essence of all sin is in the assertion of our will against the will of God.”

Furthermore, Ms. Graham states, it’s so easy to lose sight of your purpose when you face an overwhelming situation.

In conclusion, Ruth exhorts:

“Let us commit ourselves to frequently spending time alone with God.  And when loneliness strikes, or major decisions loom ahead of us, or grief rolls over us, or we feel depleted and weary, or we thirst for a fresh taste of God’s power and glory, let us choose to devote ourselves to solitude.”

Today’s question: What most helps you enter into solitude within the context of grace?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Human freedoms – the last one”

About the author

Dave Henning

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