Hope from solitude: Resting in stillness

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In the world, we are continually asked to do more with less, and still maintain wellness in our lives. This equation is impossible. Yes, we can fool ourselves for a limited amount of time…but during that time, our health begins to fail, we miss family events, our relationships fail and for what?

Tomorrow will be week three in a four-part series of sermon messages on “Downtime” practicing solitude and silence. The first week challenged us to take time to get away and think about what is needed to make sound and solid decisions regarding the big things in life.

The second week was all about grief and loss and how take a break from others can give you time to reflect on how to deal with loss, and how individuals deal with the grieving process — each one of us is different in how we deal with each of these. It doesn’t matter if we are believers or not, we go through the same storms, however, we are not likely to be in the same boats. However the one thing we are all searching for is HOPE.

Henri Nouwe said, “In solitude, we come to know the Spirit who has already been given to us. The pains and struggles we encounter in our solitude thus become the way to hope, because our hope is not based on something that will happen after our sufferings are over, but on the real presence of God’s healing Spirit in the midst of these sufferings.”

I’ve been sharing the last couple of Sundays that when we take time to seek solitude and silence, we give ourselves a chance to quiet the world around us. In doing so, we seek needed peace through the word of God and making time to build our relationships with Him.

Another source that echoes this idea of hope from solitude is Max Lucado’s book, “Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives on the Promises of God.”

Lucado points out what feels shaky in your world and how maybe you feel hurt by the past, disappointed by the present, or worried about the future. If so, he points out that there is hope. For every problem in life, God has given you a promise.

The focus for tomorrow’s sermon is on work, silence, and rest. I cannot stress enough that we require the rest so that we can recharge. Just as God gives people important work to do, God also asks people to rest periodically from their labor. Work gives each individual the opportunity to partner with God in his goals for creation, while rest lets that person enter into communion with God in enjoyment of creation.

Mark 6:30-32, says, “The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves.”

I wish you all peace, solitude, and hope in all you do. Be well.

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