Daily Devotional 11-7-19

Golden Solitude  
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful

Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day…So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Genesis 32:24, 27-28

There is a whole world of difference between isolation and solitude. While the former could be detrimental to spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing, the latter produces spring of life. The former sucks the life; the latter positions us to receive renewal and restoration through contemplation, worship, Christian meditation and reflection, prayer, etc. In solitude, you are alone but not lonely. Isolation is gradually becoming an epidemic in our nation. 

Jacob had lived a life of struggle: connived with his mother to deceive his father, Isaac, to steal his brother, Esau’s blessing. He ran away from home for fear of his life and lived with his uncle, Laban. His uncle, in turn, deceived him on many occasions. Jacob’s life was one of continual hassle. He lived in fear. But, God had a different and better plan for him. After marrying two wives and having obtained some level of possessions, Jacob decided to move from his uncle. On their way he got the word that Esau was coming with his men to meet him. He got terrified and thought his brother was going to harm him because of the old family feud. He was traveling with a company. But, he decided to send all of them ahead. And, when he was alone he experienced a life-changing visit from the angel of the Lord. 

After the wrestling, the angel changed Jacob’s name to Israel. This resulted in the change of his identity, and his life changed for the better. Esau met him and greeted him with love instead of hatred. 

During His earthly life, Jesus consistently practiced solitude before meeting with the people. He observed prayer by Himself either early in the morning or at night (Matthew 14:23; Luke 6:12).

Sometimes we are too crowded to have a life-giving encounter with God. 

Meeting with the Holy Spirit in solitude makes our water overflow so we are able to bless those who are thirsty.  Time alone with God cleanses our lenses so we see as God sees.  In solitude our souls find rest and peace in God so we thrive in life. 

Would you make time and enjoy some golden solitude with your God in prayer, scripture reading, singing, etc.?

PRAYER: In the busyness of my life, grant me the grace and discipline to desire and spend time with you consistently.