Finding Renewal

Practicing silence and solitude-- especially when we are busy– is essential to experiencing a healthy spiritual life.

I’m no expert. To be honest, those closest in my circle would testify this is a fault in my routine that I need to make a priority. Some would describe me as wired, extroverted, can’t sit still and always on the go. Even ways that I find rest involve working out, cutting the grass or walking the dog. These aren’t necessarily bad traits but they can lead to burnout if not meshed with ways of stillness and renewal.  

Personally, I’ve found that finding silence and solitude isn’t always associated with resting but rather the removal of life's distraction. When I’m cutting the yard, it’s one of the most peaceful and silent moments of my day. Working in the yard clears my mind and allows me to see myself clearly. However, I’ve learned over the last ten years there is a greater way to experience rejuvenation.

“But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.”  (Luke 5:16)

Jesus showed us how to find renewal, refreshment and rejuvenation. Jesus healed, strengthened, saved, encouraged, led and provided all of mankind with an opportunity for salvation through his obedience. Jesus was efficient with his time and ironically, he never appeared to be in a hurry. Jesus stayed the course and knew his mission.

Jesus was able to stay the course and mission because he knew how to withdraw from distractions and draw near to God. We see multiple examples of Jesus rising very early in the mornings to experience silence and solitude.

I’m extremely challenged by this beautiful practice of Jesus that I don’t even scratch the surface of getting this spiritual discipline right in my life. Truthfully, the practice of silence and solitude strips us from our comfort zone and brings our sinful, broken, vulnerable state to the surface. It often hurts. However, the beauty of this is that Jesus doesn’t allow us to remain in that state as he is always near us and brings revival to our souls.

How can I keep from falling short of this practice and make my time alone with God a priority? Simply, make time for it! Where our phones, smart watches and emails can be extremely distracting; they can also be very helpful with reminding us to make and take moments of internal silence and time alone with God in reading and prayer throughout our day. Creating a physical place where you can practice this in your car, home, office or out in nature. Inviting God’s presence into this experience is where renewal is found.

Silence and solitude are foundational for our lives in connecting with God! That being said, how can we incorporate a practice of intentional withdrawal with Jesus into our daily routines?

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