Day Four: Alone with Christ
by Kelly Minter
The Spiritual Discipline of Solitude
Read Mark 6:30-34.
When Jesus encouraged His disciples to come away with Him to a remote place, it wasn’t so they could grab a bite in peace or even catch a nap—good things, but Jesus had more in mind. At this point, it’s essential to note a recurring theme of the Old Testament—God providing rest for His people in the wilderness.4
As we reenter this scene, we find that this ancient hope of rest that God provided for His people in the wilderness in the Old Testament now finds its fulfillment in Jesus. He is the ultimate rest for the disciples’ lives.5 The disciples didn’t need to fear the solitude of the wilderness because they had a special appointment to fellowship with Jesus.
One of the things that physical exercise has taught me over the years is that it’s possible to put a short amount of time to really good use. If I’ve got a window of just thirty minutes, I can take a walk, jump on my friend’s bike (because I so did not buy my own), work out on my Pilates machine … you get the idea. A moment of time that can otherwise go up in smoke scrolling on your phone can be invested in a way that matters. That boat ride ended up being significant for the disciples because they never got the solitude with Jesus they were expecting. That journey to the place of solitude ended up being the place of solitude.
I hope you were encouraged today by the fact that solitude is not something to fear but rather a space to be enjoyed. Yes, we may at first struggle in our alone time with regret, fear, or loneliness. But remember, as children of God, we don’t need to fear the deserted places. Christ is the ultimate provision of rest for us in places of solitude. The desert place is no longer aloneness in its strictest sense. It is time communing with Jesus.
PERSONAL REFLECTION: How can you redeem seemingly insignificant moments of your day for purposeful time with the Lord?