Season of Solitude
In this week’s Timely Teaching video, Sheila Mills teaches us how to combat feelings of loneliness and embrace solitude. We can use seasons of solitude to increase the depth of our relationships with both Jesus and other people.
- 50 – 75 percent of people identify in some aspect as being lonely.
- The rates of loneliness are said to have doubled in the last 50 years in our society.
- We are described as having an epidemic of loneliness.
A former US Surgeon General has reported that loneliness has a greater associated risk to the the human life span than that of tobacco use or obesity.
Another study, done by the University of California, identified wisdom as a mitigating factor against loneliness. We can gain wisdom by focusing on the following aspects.
- Control of Emotions
- Self – Reflection
- Acceptance of uncertainty
Perspective is the prescription in times of uncertainty. We can look at seasons of isolation as one of loneliness, or one of solitude. Our perspective makes all of the difference in the world.
“We need to not let a serious crisis go to waste” – Rahm Emmanual
To avoid loneliness, we must lean into solitude and utilize the time to strengthen our foundation as a person.
Ask yourself, what is God’s plan for you in this season? How is God trying to use these situations for good?
We tend to think that when we are in the fire that the best way is the way out, but in reality, the best way is to find the way in.
What is the difference between loneliness and solitude?
Loneliness is being alone. Solitude is being alone with God.
We can be alone and not feel lonely or we can feel lonely in a crowd.
How do we turn loneliness into solitude?
The Bible refers repeatedly to the times that Jesus went away to pray. A man after God’s heart seeks time with God, finds time to worship, adores God, and learns to fight battles out of his time with God.
- Embrace solitude
- Focus on family
- Count blessings
God has a plan for each of our lives, but each of our plans will look different. But, if we don’t ask the question, what is God’s plan for us in this season, we will not be able to discern it for ourselves either. Remember that God oftentimes speaks in a gentle whisper, so we have to be looking and listening for that whisper.
It isn’t the ultimate goal to be lonely, but experiencing solitude leads us to two things:
1. A potential deepening and meeting of Jesus in a greater way.
2. The deepening of our relationship with Jesus provides us with a depth that allows us to have greater meaning to other people and healthier relationships in our lives.
As a society, we lack healthy relationships and we lack healthy solitude and those go hand in hand. We are in a season where the opportunity is being handed to us to embrace solitude or embrace healthy relationships within our own home.
In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…
Sometimes our plans – even the ones we think God has approved- have to be put on hold indefinitely. Like David, we can use this waiting time profitably. We can choose to learn and grow in our present circumstances, whatever they may be.
For morninformation on how to deal with lonliness, watch our sermon searies Fearless.