Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
Matthew 14:22-23 (ESV)
This is solitude.
Choosing to be alone.
Choosing to have that time when it’s just you and the Father Almighty.
Choosing relationship at the most intimate level with the entity of the highest level.
Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”
Matthew 26:28 ESV
This is loneliness.
Grasping at friends to fill what they cannot fill—that chasm between the human soul and God’s love when relationship with Him is cut off.
Christ said those words in the Garden of Gethsemane just before his crucifixion. He knew that He was to take the sin of mankind upon him so that God could reject him and punish Him as a substitute for all the sin on earth. He knew that in order to accomplish redemption for all men, he had to experience God, His own Father, turning His back on Him.
Christ had to experience being truly separated from God.
That is what true loneliness comes from— a separation from God.
So when you are in that place of acute pain, reach out for the truth like a rescue line. Know it’s your flesh keeping you in that state of temporary separation. You’ve temporarily forgotten—you’re not alone.
As He draws you in, you’re still soaked with fear and trembling from the cold waters of desperation. Don’t be afraid of that. Those are feelings. We all have them. And if you choose to go up on the mountain to be alone with God, you’ll take that loneliness with you, but you’ll leave it there with God and exchange it for solitude. Do that enough, and you will grow strong.
And growing strong allows you to see the world around you differently. You’re now more anchored in the Holy Spirit, because He is around you, with you, and in you at all times. You rest in Him. You radiate Him. And the world responds, because everyone wants to know the secret to what makes you radiate.
Lord God, Help my sister know she need not be afraid for You are with her, even to the ends of the earth. Amen.
Kit Hinkle is the Founder and Ministry Lead for A New Season Ministries, Inc., and an author and speaker. She has lived through corporate careers as a chemical engineer and a management consultant, but now finds her finest career as a home school mother to four teen boys–one of them launched in college. She loves Pilates and her best friend’s Bosanova Christian yoga-style stretching, and craves more walks through the woods with her chocolate lab. Her dream is to live on the beach–and Charleston is just calling her! She knows what it means to be in a new season. She lost her first marriage to divorce when she was very young and lost her loving husband to a heart attack in 2007. To sit with another who is walking through her tough road and show that woman Christ, brings joy and fulfillment to Kit. It’s such an honor to participate in His kingdom.
If you are interested in having her speak, please contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other articles by this author: www.anewseason.net/author/khinkle
Would you like to read more about being vulnerable? Here are some articles you might try:
Lonely? Exchange it for Peace by Ami Adkins
Want to See God More Clearly? by Teri Cox