Out of Seclusion

This morning I read about a couple who was unable to have children. The man had an encounter with an angel, went home, and his wife became pregnant. She was past childbearing age. What jumped out at me was the fact that, when she became pregnant, she secluded herself for five months to spend time with God.

Have you ever had time with Him like that?

It reminded me of the moment I had my own encounter. Everything changed radically, and there was an immediate need and desire for me to seclude myself. I had to break every tie. Some (like my children) were re-established very quickly … with a new and healthy bond based in love, peace, and security. Older ties (my parents and siblings, for example) took a little longer to work out and rebuild. Every other relationship was evaluated from scratch, and many were not re-established at all.

This time of seclusion was so essential in my life. To finding out who I am and what is truly important in my life. To finding out who He is and how much He loves me. To learning how to hear Him, love Him, seek Him. It was a time of soaking up truth, wisdom, and deeper understanding. Without it, my hectic life would (and did!) constantly overwhelm me. I used that time to take down the house built on sand, and rebuild my house, my life, on the Rock.

Now that I’ve come out of seclusion, I look back on those months spent in solitude and quiet relationship. I treasure the memories of Him nursing me to true life.

A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish.
Isaiah 42:3

Life is so busy. There are so many responsibilities and opportunities vying for my time. There are times that I feel like my wick is flickering. But He is always there, waiting for my attention to turn back and be strengthened.

The couple I mentioned were the parents of John the Baptist, a close relative of Jesus. For me, it was encouraging to see once again that this walk has been done before, and to see a Biblical example of this instinct to dedicate time to Him. It served as a reminder that even in this demanding and hectic world, even with children and more than one job, it is possible to seclude ourselves for a time. I am so thankful for those months given to Him, and constantly blessed by the fruit of it.