Devotional by Grace Sims
What are your spiritual longings? How would you depict these in a drawing? The author of a book I’m reading was asked these questions on his first day in a class.
These two questions have stuck with me for a while now. While I knew how I would answer the first question, I couldn’t quite figure out how I would draw a picture of the desperation I was feeling in my own spirit. I took comfort in the fact that the author was feeling the same way I did; how do you draw a big black void?
The truth is, I was desperately longing for a deeper connection with my Creator. All the while, fighting against what He was telling me to do in order to get this deeper connection.
The Bible talks a lot about retreating to be alone with God. Jesus often retreated in prayer. But there’s more to it than just being alone and praying. I do this alone every day. The stillness and silence are what God’s been challenging me about – that’s the part I’m missing, and honestly, avoiding. I have a serious problem with silence. I’m always listening to music, or the TV is on in the background – never just silence, even when I’m doing my daily Bible study. Funny enough, I call it my “quiet time.”
I’ve managed to avoid doing this still and quiet thing for a long time. Yet here I am, unable to shake the question I read in this book. My spirit is longing for a deeper relationship with my God and I’m bucking against the one thing that will bring me closer to what I want more than anything – more of Him.
The author of the book goes on to tell his story. He drew a tree with very few leaves on it, and a complicated, dry root system beneath the surface. On the picture, he wrote his prayer, “Lord of life, send my roots rain.” As he continued in this class, they spent time in worship, they spent time in prayer, and they spent time in solitude and silence. He describes his soul as feeling alive.
The author’s drawing and prayer perfectly depict my spiritual longings. I want my soul to feel alive. At times it definitely does. I am so in love with God and His church. I love worshipping and praising. I love praying and studying The Word. So why am I avoiding solitude and silence? That’s a question only God could answer for me, and as soon as I asked, He did. I was avoiding being alone with my own thoughts. The noise in my mind can be deafening. Why would I want to be alone with that?
The truth is, I was afraid to be alone with my own thoughts. It’s in these moments that I question everything. What if I misunderstood my calling? What if the enemy is right, and I’m not good enough? What if people see me and see my past, see what I’ve done before I was saved?
I couldn’t turn this noise off on my own. I needed His help. That’s where I realized that, in these moments of solitude and silence, we’re not alone. The solitude is only in the natural. It’s in these moments that we’ll feel His presence more than any other time. If we seek His help, He can quiet our minds long enough to hear that still small voice inside us, beckoning us to Him.
“Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a TPT
In surrendering our anxieties and quieting the noise in our minds, we can be focused on Truth. We can meditate on His word and hide it in our hearts. In these moments we can draw Him closer and breathe in His Spirit in a way that can’t happen when we’re distracted.
I want to encourage you to be still. Surrender to it and enjoy your time alone with the One who created you.