An invitation to solitude and silence
by Coye Bouyer
LANSING, MI – Suddenly, out of nowhere she was consumed with thoughts that led her to believe she was functioning in selfishness. Had she somehow extricated herself from all her responsibilities? Would her husband really be able to handle a full-time job along with managing the home front? What about work, can I really afford to be so completely out of the loop at such an important time at the office? What about the girls; I am the mother of two teenagers who have their own share of high school dramas, and what if I am not there. Overwhelmed by such questions, Martha pondered, as she sat in silence, suddenly feeling ambushed by her own fears. She asked herself, “Do I really have the right to pull away completely to attend a silent retreat in order to give God my undivided and uninterrupted attention?”
Often, when we allow ourselves to become aware of such concerns, we feel anxiety, we sense and experience overwhelming questioning of our behavior and even our motives when all we really want is simply break-away and spend some much-needed time with the LORD.
In the Bible, Abraham is invited to the desert to experience God. Moses requests that Pharaoh allow the Israelites to go out into the wilderness to celebrate a feast and spend time with Him (Ex. 5:1). God will also request that three times a year the men of Israel go up and meet with Him (Ex. 23:17). We find David in the shepherd’s field or in some cave running from Saul. He is alone, in silence and solitude, taking time to pray, reflect, write, and simply spend time with the LORD. Even Jesus (God in flesh) will arise early in the morning, find a secluded place so that He might pray (Mark 1:35).
So why do we feel guilty when we take time to stop our regular daily lives in order to spend what is probably much needed time with the LORD?
Martha, sitting there in the airport wrestling with her thoughts and the overwhelming sense that she was so selfish to even have considered this time away for a retreat with the LORD, began to sense a gentle voice from the inside asking her, “Will you trust me to care for these things? Can you trust that I love your family, friends, co-workers, etc. more than you do and I will care for them while you are giving this time and attention to our relationship? Will you trust Me? Will you trust Me to keep working to bring forth my good intentions in our life without your direct involvement, at least for a few days?
In that very moment Martha took a deep breath, closed her eyes and simply said, “Yes Lord, I trust You.” For the first time in a very long time, Martha let go of her cares and concerns, she relinquished her responsibilities’ and decided to let God be God.
Why don’t you and I make a concerted effort to spend some alone time with God. To separate ourselves from the busyness of life, the stress of work and the chaos that is often in our homes. But not simply a vacation, although they are nice, but a retreat with the LORD, a time where we can sit in silence, pray periodically and simply rest in the presence of our God. But how do we do this when life seems to have so much that we must do? Isn’t that selfish to fall back from our responsibilities?
No, in fact we should not only want to do this, we need to do this because it is when we take time away from what we do to allow God to do what He can do that we really begin to TRUST Him even above ourselves. We are not selfish when we do this, but we are selfless as we not only begin to trust God to take care of them, but we also allow God to take care of us. God Bless!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Coye L. Bouyer is the founding pastor of Kingdom Life Church in Lansing, MI where he has served since March of 2010. Pastor Bouyer recently stepped into the Diversity Ambassador role for the BSCM and firmly believes that he was not only called to Preach the Gospel as part of the process of reconciliation of man to God, but also using any platform as a bridge of reconciliation of man to man, and even more so amongst the brethren. Pastor Bouyer and his lovely wife Keturah (Gen. 25:1) have been married four over 20 years and have four children; Sierra, Seth, Cayla and Coye II.