Welcome to September! It is that time of year when the kids are back in school, some off to college and some just beginning first grade. Moms everywhere have visions of much needed alone time; or if they are first time empty nesters, there may be a little depression or loneliness. The temptation is to fill those alone hours with something, anything to create the noise you are used to. But be encouraged in knowing that being alone can be a very good thing. It can be a time of unexpected pleasure and responsibility.
Moses was alone in the desert when God appeared in a burning bush and gave him His plan for Moses to lead God’s people out of Egypt.1 Gideon was alone in the winepress thrashing wheat when the angel of the LORD appeared to him with a call for leadership.2 David was alone tending sheep when Samuel sent for him to anoint him king.3 Each of these men were called to lead at a time when they were alone doing the work of their daily responsibilities. They were taken from the mundane to the miraculous.
It must have been quiet in the field with nothing but the bleating of sheep, and quiet in the winepress. Moses, Gideon and David didn’t have music blaring from earplugs or a television of talk shows on as they worked. They didn’t have text, email or internet facebook to keep up with what everyone was doing. Their days were quiet and busy with only their thoughts for company. Perhaps that is why they were able to see and hear the LORD so vividly.
What can we learn from this? First, quiet and alone time can be a very good thing. We don’t need to fill our heads with constant noise in order to prevent boredom, or surround ourselves with people in order to have fellowship. Second, being busy and diligent in responsibilities that may seem mundane does not mean you will never have other opportunities. It means you have a current opportunity to practice patience and seek the LORD for what is next in your life – to listen for His word in your silence.
And finally, we can learn from these men of the Bible that God doesn’t choose us because we are fully equipped for the job He has given. He calls faithful, diligent, hard-working people who sit up and take notice when He appears. In our insecurities for the task, He gives promises. Then once we determine to be obedient, He equips us for the task at hand.
You may be alone in the middle of the daily grind when something unexpected occurs that changes everything. A phone call from a church leader with an opportunity to serve, an email or visit inviting you to a leadership position you feel unequipped to do.
Be encouraged that God knows exactly where you are and what you are doing. Stay alert and prepared for His word to you. Listen for the still small voice of God in your daily responsibility and you may be surprised by an unexpected event in your solitude. You can be sure that if God calls you to a task, He will equip you to do it.
1 Exodus 3, NIV Holy Bible
2 Judges 6:11-16 NIV Holy Bible
3 I Samuel 16:11-13 NIV Holy Bible