Wars raged in my head as I went out the door each day. Battles were being fought. Armageddon. Satan and his minions coming up from the abyss, waging war against God’s saints. By the end of my “quiet” time I was keyed up and ready to fight the world. I couldn’t begin my day like this – it was unsettling.
In the limited time I had each morning, I wasn’t resting in God’s presence. I was analyzing, studying, and searching for teaching points, while I studied the book of Revelation. It seemed like mornings were the only time I could find for this. But my morning quiet time quickly became quiet turmoil.
There are passages of scripture that I can study and ponder without leaving me in such a state of upheaval, however Revelation is not one of them. I left my time of studying God’s word distracted and agitated. Many times, the mood followed me throughout my day.
In her new book, Peace for a Lifetime, Lisa Murray offers these words of advice:
To embrace solitude, find fifteen to twenty minutes daily to be absent from people and simply sit quietly in God’s presence. This is not a time for structured Bible study or prayer (Page 66).
I’m no stranger to the spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude. But I’ve never practiced them, either. Why would I? I’m alone most days at work. The silence is deafening. Why would I make this a practice?
But this past week, I was forced into it. Yep, the flu bug bit. I was down for the count, quarantined to the bedroom. The first two days I slept. On the third day, there was a resurrection of sorts. Wide awake, but too weak to move, unable to concentrate on books or TV, all I could do was lay in bed. I had no energy to be productive. My get up and go had run far, far away. The only thing I could do was lay there like a jellyfish. And listen. And think.
I heard the quietness of my home, the soft whir of the ceiling fan. I heard the birds singing a chorus outside. I heard Peace, and was overwhelmed with it. I never dreamed that I would feel such peace, and at the same time be so sick. In the silence and solitude, I felt His presence. Holding me, nurturing me to health. I felt loved.
Solitude is the place where we can hear His voice speak of His great love for us. (Peace for a Lifetime, Page 67)
Isn’t that the way it is with life sometimes? It can be unsettled. Internal wars are raging, external trials and illnesses are wearing us down. Yet, instead of slowing ourselves, we keep running into the storm and turmoil. We keep ourselves overly productive and busy, to feel like we are accomplishing something, anything. In reality, we are preoccupied and weary.
Lisa puts it this way in her book:
Only when we become still can we silence the outside world…turn down the volume on the noise that keeps us distracted and exhausted. (Peace for a Lifetime, Page 65)
As for me? I enjoyed my time of quiet with Jesus. I believe I’ll be adding a little silence and solitude to my routine. I believe I NEED it – a time of resting in God. Just me and Him.
How about you? Has the hustle and bustle and noise of life got you distracted? Listen to the words of Jesus (Mark 6:31):
Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.”
Make time today to slip away with Him.
Until next week, grace be with you,
I was honored to be on the launch team for Lisa’s Murray’s new book, Peace for a Lifetime. In her book, Lisa shares keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, filled with peace and emotional abundance. You won’t want to miss it! All commenters on this post will be entered in a drawing to receive a FREE copy of Peace for a Lifetime!
Such wise words, Ellen! I too have been feeling that my time with the Lord has been anything but quiet. Whether mind is distracted by things around me or I’m reading for a purpose other than just to receive from Him. I love your reminder that it’s necessary for us to have that quiet time. I so need this, every day. Sometimes more than once a day! Neighbors with you at Thought Provoking Thursday.
Hi Alisa! So glad you were my neighbor today! And yes, that time is so essential! I’ve had to adjust a bit and give myself some grace this week, after the flu bout, but even reading one scripture, and contemplating it, begins my day with Son light!
I’m sorry you had the flu but I’m glad you were able to find God in the stillness and silence. I can relate to that process of finally letting go and listening to God when I’ve been sick. Praying we both can experience time in His presence 🙂 Praying you feel better soon.
Hi Dolly! Yes, the flu was rough – still recuperating a bit! But oh, the stillness and peace! It was lovely. Thanks so much for your prayers and encouraging comment!
Betsy de Cruz says
Sorry you had the flu, Ellen! Bummer! But how wonderful that you were able to find quiet and somehow enjoy it. I enjoyed reading about your takeaway from Lisa’s book!
I could really use some solitude! Thanks for this reminder! So glad you are on the mend! Blessings, friend!
HA! I’ll bet you could Liz! Thanks for stopping by today, my sweet friend!
Anna Smit says
Beautiful encouragement. I’ve been feeling that call lately too and funny how it keeps coming back to me in blogs I visit! Tonight I sought it out, but by putting praise and worship music on and singing out aloud with it….Glorifying God always brings me such incredible peace! This is one of my ways of seeking God: as is running in the forest/dunes three days a week. And the other day I went for a short evening walk and was so blessed by the reflection of light on the canals (I live in the Netherlands).
Oh, Anna, how beautiful! Love that you find solitude and time with our God in nature – it sounds just lovely! Thank you for visiting today! Blessings to you!
Ellen, glad you are feeling better. Sometimes we do indeed need some time of silence and solitude. Great post. Blessed to be your neighbor at the Ra Ra linkup today.
Hi Tara, so glad you stopped by today! Yes, doing much better, but the flu did sap the energy right out of me!
Ginger Harrington says
Hope you are feeling better. Lisa’s book sounds wonderful. I love the quotes you included. Silence can be such a challenge. It is not a discipline I have practiced much the way you describe. So lovely to visit you again through #RaRaLinkUp.
Hi Ginger, so glad you visited! I’m with you – silence is a challenge for me. It’s so odd how the Lord used my bout with flu to get me to enjoy it!
I agree, especially with your statement…”Isn’t that the way it is with life sometimes? It can be unsettled. Internal wars are raging, external trials and illnesses are wearing us down.” I have especially felt this the past few months!! The internal wars are raging and external trials more than overwhelming. My quiet time is in the evening, as I am more fully awake and can concentrate on the Lord’s Word and just spend time with Him. Most days, it helps me to re-focus, but sometimes it is more difficult than others. Thanks for sharing!
I have unbelievable respect for you to have your quiet time in the evenings Ann – I usually find other things that “need” to be done! Praying your internal wars and external trials will peacefully resolve themselves! Thanks so much for stopping by today! Blessings to you.