Lonely Places

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16 (NIV)

The word “lonely” strikes me as odd. The Beatles sang mournfully of “all the lonely people”— a vulnerable state of being to avoid. But Jesus chose a lonely place. Not a place where he could be alone. I understand alone; I like a certain amount of solitude. But “alone” is not the word God used.

Christ was fully human and fully divine. He could relate to us on a human level, but who in the world could relate to him on his God-level? His divinity imparted upon him a loneliness no one on earth could approach or alleviate. Jesus well understood that he had a place in his heart where only He and his Father could go.

We all have a spirit, the part “created in His image,” the part that seeks to know God. When we accept Christ as our Savior, His Holy Spirit takes up residence within us. Romans 8:16 states, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  The Holy Spirit and ours unite—the divine with the human. Suddenly, miraculously, we have a lonely place.  

I am so grateful for my lonely place. Sometimes I get so busy that I forget about it. But it tugs at me and I go. I give my Savior and Lord my sins, hurts, and fallibilities. I allow His healing presence to forgive, soothe and invigorate. He then fills me with His peace, His love, and His power. It is a place where only I can go, but I am never alone in my lonely place.

Dear Lord, thank you for never leaving us alone. May we find comfort in your presence and rely on your strength. Amen.