Monday, August 24, 2015
“Cling tightly to the Lord your God as you have done until now.” These words sit in my mind and heart on Day 1 of Relentless (The Epic Story of a Hardhearted People, Their Warrior God and His Unstoppable Love). This very first day of an unexpected study has forced me to come face-to-face with emotions and thoughts I’d rather leave buried.
Unlike many participating in this study with Hello Mornings, I didn’t start my day with the Book of Judges. Since solitude is a soul exercise I am working to familiarize myself with, I waited until everyone was off to school and work for the day so I could be alone in the quiet. I pushed aside the to-do list. I resisted the urge to exchange shouts with the world and embraced whispers with God instead.
With my Bible open, God was welcomed access to my heart. I contemplated every question and participated fully by completing the timeline. As pain began to pang my heart when faced with my past, I welcomed it. God reminded me of Ezekiel 36:26 which He used once before to do a work in me. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
I sat and wrote about my emotions and past and present day. My mind kept recalling the dirty dishes and laundry; the walk I scheduled into my day; the agenda of the week. My heart begged for more of this moment. More God. More quiet. More disentangling the mess inside my soul.
“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10
Most days my life is full of noise. The kids wake up talking. Television numbs our minds. Technology distracts from our souls. My husband’s agenda doesn’t align with mine. Phones ring. Texts ping. Traffic. News. My mind is like a scrolling marquee of thoughts all day long.
Unless I am intentional, quiet and stillness will never enter my day.
I know that without solitude, the world and my mind obstruct my relationship with God. It is in solitude that I remember. All the distractions in this world make it easy to forget what God has done in my life. I wonder if that’s what happened to Israel.
“After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things He had done for Israel.” – Judges 2:10
The people of Israel were to remember all the mighty things God had done for them. God commanded them to talk about them often. Their children were to be reminded of the great things He had done. Yet they forget God. They didn’t remember that He had parted the Red Sea; that He brought them into the Promised Land; that He is the Giver of all good things.
The same happens to me and it’s why I must practice solitude. The shouts of the world are too loud and too accessible. Wake up in the morning and turn on the television. Get out of bed and check Facebook or other social media. Answer texts. Return phone calls. Demands. Demands. Demands. It’s a world of shouting that doesn’t welcome God.
Through Relentless this morning, I was reminded not only to welcome God into my day but to cling tightly to Him. Solitude is the best way for me personally to do this. Communication with God through His Word, the Bible, and prayer along with quiet rest. Are you in need of solitude so you can cling tightly to the Lord your God?