Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sometimes It's Good To Be Alone

There are several times in the gospels when Jesus separated himself from the disciples and/or the crowds. I’ll list the references below, but the gist of it is this: “Jesus went to a lonely place, a place of solitude.”

I’ve learned from my friend, Cindy Steffen, who provides a retreat house for the purpose of creating a natural setting for solitude, that scientific research opens a favorable view of being alone. According to psychiatrist Daniel Siegel, “Solitude is an essential experience for the mind to organize its own processes and create an internal state of resonance.”

This lonely time of widowhood in your life is OK. And if Dr. Siegel is right, it's a valuable and necessary recovery time. It’s uncomfortable—more so for some personality types than for others—but it won’t last forever.

It’s not by choice. You didn’t choose to be alone, to be widowed. But God allowed it, so think of the loneliness as a cocoon. It’s a time for your soul to heal: to restructure itself and learn to resonate as your true, individual self emerges. God is turning you into a new creature—as II Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Women’s magazines are always telling us to “take time for yourself.” Now that you finally have all this time for yourself, what are some healthy things you can do?

Women's magazines and psychiatry aside, we could just do as Jesus did—enter your lonely place willingly—“Jesus went.”

Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary/lonely place, where he prayed.

Matthew 14:13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary/lonely place.

Mark 6:31, 32 (same incident as Matthew 14:13 with a little more detail) . . . He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary/lonely place.

Luke 4:42 At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary/lonely place.

From His example we can be confident that sometimes it's good to be alone. Especially if that alone time is in following Christ. Rest in Him and rest well this weekend. I hope you’ll check back again on Monday when we ask, When Is It Not Good to Be Alone?


  1. Seeing all these verses together makes that quiet place of rest sound exciting, like running into Jesus' arms.

  2. Dear Jane, Yes, this sort of rest is far from a mere state of unconsciousness! Resting in Christ restores, renews, refreshes and reactives us! I hope you had a "restful" weekend. :)


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