The Power of Silence and Solitude
by Rhonda Jones 4/24/2008 / Christian Living
Finding time to be still before the Lord in silence or through Christ-centered meditation is one of the greatest tools to help us purify our hearts and minds. Jesus said, it's not what goes into our bodies that defile us, but what comes out of our hearts. When
mental stimulation ceases, transformation and detoxification can begin. For most, extended periods of silence is very uncomfortable. We don't know how to handle our mind stuff. When we're faced with our fears, lacks, and insecurities, it's often more than many of us want to bear. Instead of facing our personal demons we drowned them out with noise or other vices. James 4: 7 declares, "Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. If we're courageous enough to resist the urge to self-medicate, the purification process kicks start.
"Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands your sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn, and wail. (James 4:8-9)" As with any addiction, engrained mindsets don't want to let go or loosen their grip. Many
times we must mourn, wail, and then grieve our old conditioning and patterns before complete freedom takes place. This may be followed by moments of extreme emotional pain, fear, or anger.
Many years ago I suffered from extreme loneliness. To fill this emptiness I tried to stay very active. I joined all types of classes, dated people I wasn't really interested in, and participated in activities I had no real interest in. Then one afternoon I was home alone. I was burnt out on doing activities to resist pain and loneliness. That particular day I began to feel this anxiety rise up inside of me. I thought I was going to go crazy. It was as if the walls were closing in on me. Then God spoke to my heart. He said, "Rhonda, stop resisting the loneliness, embrace it and let it run its course and it will go away." So I stopped trying to avoid the loneliness and began to accept it. That particular day and many days that followed, I remember curling up on the couch and just moaning as I fully embraced the anxiety I was feeling. And then a strange thing happened, within several minutes it left and a new sense of freedom was unleashed.
When we spend extended time in sacred silence and in God's word, the world loses some of its grip on us. The scriptures tell us that we are "cleansed by the word." The same process is very similar to fasting or physical detoxification. Fasting experts warn
us that during a fast toxins are released into the bloodstream. As long as we're putting food in the body, the elimination process never takes place. Once these toxics are released, we may become weak or slightly ill. Most health professionals encourage drinking diluted juices to help combat these toxins. Similarly, during a mental fast or prolonged silence, feeding periodically on God's word will help to anchor and ground us during the emotional upheavals that take place.
Spend regular time in sacred silence and solitude to reflect upon your walk with the Lord. If there are areas in your life that seem out of balance or causing you to struggle, ask God to give you wisdom and understanding. Observe mindsets and thought patterns that may not be working for you anymore or that you might be resisting. Use sacred silence and Christian meditation to reveal any fears and insecurities you're trying to hide from yourself and others. When they surface, acknowledge them. For example, "I'm afraid. I'll never have a successful relationship", "I'm a failure and will never succeed", "I can't make it financially", "I don't like myself" , "I can't stand being alone." Bring God's light into your fears. Embrace them fully feeling all the hurt and pain associated with your thoughts. Cry, weep, wail, mourn (James 4:7) and let it all out. Curl up on your bed and scream if you have to. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Let go of and grieve mindsets that aren't working for you anymore. You may not like your situation at the moment, but by fully accepting and embracing it, you will loosen its unconscious grip over you. This is purification of your heart and soul. When you acknowledge and embrace it fully (feeling it with every cell in your body) and bring it into light of God's love and truth (light dispels darkness), it will begin to dissipate and you'll feel a new sense of freedom. You made it through unscaved. You've heard the phrase, "What we resist, persist." Allow sacred silence and Christian meditation to help free yourself from your accumulation of mind clutter and mental conditioning.