Think of the most frightening places you could be. Thoughts of dark alleys, graveyards, and war zones will pop into your head. And while these situations are scary, I’d like to offer up the possibility that they are not the most frightening place you will ever visit in your lifetime. These locations are common, but for most of us they’re avoidable. What makes the place I have in mind most frightening is that it this place is much closer than you might think. In fact, you may be surprised to know that you come to this place every day of your life.
As I see it, the most frightening place in the world is that place where we find ourselves alone with our thoughts. Now you may disagree with me, and I would understand why. There is no physical threat, no high probability that you might be harmed, robbed, or killed. In fact, some might go so far as to say that time alone is healthy; a beneficial way to spend time in meaningful contemplation. This would be inaccurate and a dangerous assumption to make. Being alone doesn’t add, doesn’t build, and certainly doesn’t help us. God created us with a need to seek companionship. After all, it was God who noticed that Adam needed a helper. At times, it is good to get away but long periods of time in isolation can be very damaging. But even when we find ourselves away from other people, we can take comfort in one simple truth: we are never really alone. Remember the words of Jesus Christ in John 15:5…
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
God is always with us, surrounding us with His love. Now because we have free will, we can walk away from God in order to find out what it’s like to be alone. But when we choose to separate ourselves from God, we still aren’t alone. This is when the enemy steps in. Satan will immediately take that open space, filling our minds with doubt and our hearts with fear. Keep yourself busy throughout the day and you can avoid coming face to face with these thoughts, but when the lights go out and your head hits the pillow, when you are alone with only your thoughts to attend you, the onslaught begins. And don’t be surprised – that’s what Jesus told us would happen if we tried going it alone. Up against Satan with nothing but our own strength and ability to sustain us. Could there possibly be a more dangerous encounter?
So when we declare that we want time alone, what we really ought to be asking is for time to be connected with the One from whom we must never separate – our Father in Heaven. Taking time to quietly sit in the presence of the Lord, to seek His will and to feel His peace is an entirely different thing. It refreshes and refocuses us as continue toward our destiny, all the while keeping us safe from the enemy’s attacks.
May you find comfort and strength each and every day of your life as you let God fill your heart in safety, peace, and quiet, now and always.