Since the COvid outbreak last year, people have developed a mindset, which has mushroomed into a culture of fear. Yes, the virus is real. It has resulted in far too many deaths. As the number of infected people spikes, so has the fear associated with the Delta strain. Mandated vaccines and masks are being employed to stop it’s spread, leaving libertarians in a quagmire and the unvaccinated at risk of losing their jobs. Breakthrough cases have created more fear, more uncertainty, more anger.
Add to that, the suffering of the Haitian people from a devastating earthquake, and the Taliban takeover, leaving Americans and Afghani allies desperate for evacuation. There is a strain on the human psyche far beyond the Delta variant.
While I am not qualified to address the scientific, socio-political or psychological complexities of human life, I have a sure-fire way of finding peace in the midst of the malaise. It’s spending time alone with God. The Psalmist wrote: Be still and know that I am God. A vaccine may be able to protect your body, but it cannot bring peace to your soul. Masks mask. Evacuation will save lives, but will it heal the trauma? Rebuilding infrastructure will give people the necessities of life, but will it give them hope? Only time alone with God will do these things and so much more.
How much time do I need to spend alone with God? Whatever it takes to replace fear with faith, faulty thinking with the truth, confusion with clarity. Since everyone has a different amount of “free time”, ask yourself, when is the best time of the day for me to be alone with God? I enjoy starting the day with Jesus. Others may need to wait until the kids are in bed and all is quiet around the house. The critical decision is to schedule your “me time with God.” Muslims meet with God 5x a day in prayer, bowing themselves before Allah. Should we not set a time or even times a day to give our sole attention to God?
People squawk about not having enough time to spend alone with God. “I’m too busy.”
Is that really true? Analyze your “me” time. Many people use it to exercise, watch television, read, log on to various social media platforms, socialize with friends & family. Self-care is important, so is soul-care. Maybe you are serving in a ministry. Ministry for the Lord is no substitute for being with the Lord.
Since all us have been given the same amount of time/day, you may need to make an adjustment. Ask yourself: what activity do I need to delete or curb to be alone with God? Try turning off the television. Limit your time on social media incl. texting. Say “no” to any activity that would compete with your time alone with God.
Another reason people don’t spend time alone with God is that they don’t how. What do I do? What do I say? Do I simply listen? “I tried to be quiet, but I got distracted.” Time alone with God varies from person to person. But here are some helpful practices.
- Start by letting God love you, then lovingly allow God to have full access to your life.
Jesus told the Christians in Laodicea and to us: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Rev. 3:20).
- With or without music, declare God’s worth.
- Read the Scriptures. As you read the Word of God, let the Word of God read you.
- Pray – converse with God. Be sure to include listening prayer. Ask God to speak to you.
Time alone with God may not change things around you, but it will change you from within. How? Peace. Jesus told his disciples in John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. The strain is here. By spending time alone with God, you can counteract whatever variant is spreading with His peace.