Solitude is the time when God chooses to reveal himself to you

Solitude is just you and God, together.

Solitude is a word we don't hear much today. That's because so few people, especially singles, actively seek it.

We're all painfully acquainted with loneliness. Loneliness is the disease nobody wants to talk about, but this secret epidemic is more common than all other diseases combined.

Modern society has convinced us it's terrible to be alone. TV programs send the message that everyone should constantly be surrounded by a pack of friends. We've turned the term "loner" into a dirty word to describe someone nobody likes and who can't fit in with the crowd.

Why we don't seek solitude

Many single people dread being alone, so they fill their life with noise. No doubt that's one of the factors in the success of the iPod. It's lightweight, you can take it anywhere, and when you plug in the ear bud, you're no longer alone with your thoughts.

The same is true of cell phones. As long as we're talking and listening, we're not alone.

When we're by ourselves, we find our thoughts straying. We think about the lack in our life. We replay old fears and doubts, then get upset because we don't have answers.

It's easier to find some sort of distraction. As long as we're distracted, we don't have to deal with the real problems of life.

Are you running toward God or away from him?

It's in solitude that we find God. God doesn't shout. He won't try to drown out all our noisy distractions. He refuses to compete with the TV or radio for our attention.

When we complain that we can't sense God's presence, maybe we're to blame. We simply don't make God the #1 priority in our life.

Really, how would you feel if one of your friends never called or spoke with you, then phoned you out of the blue and asked for a favor? That's what many singles do in prayer.

The embarrassing truth is that many of us are running from God instead of toward him.

How to make the best use of time alone

Do you want to feel closer to God? Do you want the unmistakable feeling that he's hearing your prayers? Do you want his guidance and encouragement? Then seek him in solitude.

You'll feel nervous at first, even panicky. You won't know exactly what to do.

Try some quiet, relaxed Bible reading. Take your time. Many Bibles have lists of passages that apply to different life situations. Pick one that's relevant to what you've been going through lately. Read it slowly and thoughtfully, with an open mind. Ask God to guide you.

Don't expect a booming voice, so there's nothing to be afraid of. He's not going to appear in the corner of your room and give you a heart attack.

But if you do this sincerely and receptively, I think you'll begin to sense God's presence. The fascinating thing about reading the Bible is that it--actually the Holy Spirit--constantly gives you new insight, even if you've read the same passage a dozen times.

Pray silently, or even in a soft voice. It's easy to do that when you're single and home alone. Keep it like everyday conversation and keep it honest.

I believe that God honors those who diligently seek him. I believe that if you'll sincerely invite him into your life in your time alone, your relationship with him will deepen and become richer.

Solitude is a gift we single people have in abundance. If you use it wisely, as an opportunity to grow closer to God, it can become a time you actually cherish.

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