And having dismissed the multitude, he went into a mountain alone to pray” (Matthew 14:23)
Solitude and silence is a major theme in the Bible. It is necessary to withdraw from people in order to have undisturbed communion with God. But if you want your space just to avoid interacting with people because you have been hurt: you have a problem.
Isolation becomes destructive when you withdraw into yourself to avoid interacting with human beings. Demons would take over, depression and other mental health issues would pop up.
No person is an island. God created humans as social beings. We need each other. Dogs and cats have their place but they can never play the role other humans have in our lives.
Adam the first representative of the human race felt all alone even though he was surrounded by all the animals in the world.
In order to function adequately and effectively, humans need a counterpart to identify with mentally, physically, socially and psychologically. Animals don’t fit that bill.
Although Life’s activities and the demands of family and friends can become so overwhelming at times and could drive one to the point of insanity if not confronted; we do need each other.
Experience is a Bitter Teacher:
At one point in my life I desperately needed some space. I just had to be alone. My constant interactions with some very oppressive, controlling, intimidating, and manipulative people began to take its toll on my health. Their destructive criticisms and negative mindset were quietly draining my life. I was dying slowly inside.
My blood pressure took a hike and I became physically sick. I started having dizzy spells. I was filled with apprehension just at the sound of their voices. They had become resident evil.
Coping with them was emotionally exhausting. I had reached my breaking point.
If I wanted to live, I just had to re-evaluate my relationship with then.
It had become more glaring as the days turned into weeks and weeks into months that it was futile to reason with them. They were too set in their ways to change without Divine intervention.
Anything I said was used against me. Simple acts of kindness were misinterpreted. Their presence in my life was gradually reimaging me to reflect their attitude. It is true what the Bible says that “bad company corrupts good morals” (1st Corinthians 15:34)
These guys were full of pride, self-opinionated, bitter, envious, jealous, resentful and angry. They had no good word for or about any person. Their negativity was bother line witchcraft.
And rather unfortunately, in a bid to be compassionate, accommodating and understanding; I got sucked into their mess.
My blood pressure kept rising. My bad days became more than my good days. The more I prayed, the more the evil came out. And I began to resent them.
Not only did I suffer compassion fatigue, I had entered burn-out mode. I could no longer battle it alone. I sent out a prayer request on my Facebook page asking Brethren in Christ to stand with me in prayer. The battle was fierce. The enemy was becoming more devious.
My soul was wounded. My ego took a beating. Old scars were cut open. The pain was severe. I smelt death.
It took a supernatural Divine intervention to pull me back. I prayed and fasted, and sought God’s help. Then the burden got lifted and light shone.
In order to heal, I had to isolate myself. Things have to be put in perspective.
I needed more time in the closet to pray and do some soul searching. The whole scenario has to change. The areas of vulnerability have to be identified and strengthened.
It was a dark time for me. I had to deal with my negative emotions, process the hurts, the anger and all the various conflicting thoughts and emotions that had made me sick.
I sure needed time – out to pray and meditate on God’s Word.
My stress coping skills had maxed-out. My soul was wounded. I was hurting real bad.
Only God could heal my heart.
My mind was in turmoil, my feelings were becoming hardened; I was on the verge of collapse. I could veer to the right or to the left depending on my perspective because my will power was taut and ready to snap.
No one could understand what I was going through. I was just going through the motions of living. But I was very sick inside.
Any attempt at explaining me was met with stiff opposition. It was as if I lacked understanding of their personal challenges and was being selfish. And that further drove me to my default which is withdrawal.
Dear friends, family and readers, I join my plea with the person who wrote the following and say:
“Don’t give up on a family member or friend that is isolating themselves. It may look like they are being rude and cutting you out of their life, but truth is, there are many reasons why someone may do this. They may be depressed and can’t cope; they may need to isolate as an act of self-care; they may get scared that you won’t love them any more if you see their dark side, they may feel like nobody cares and think isolating is what they deserve. Whatever the reason, please reach out and let them know you care” -MPL (mental health and invisible illness Resources)
It hurt so much when some other family members misunderstood what was happening with me and launched a campaign against my Christian values. I was accused of being selfish, unloving and full of anger. They became prosecutor, judge and jury.
That didn’t help one bit.
I had a friend I thought I could relate with. But when I tried ventilating, rather unfortunately religion was thrown at me I became anathema. Good riddance to bad rubbish I thought; because anyways, I just wanted some peace and quiet. One person less really did not matter because I was already sinking into the pit of despair. Depression was taking over fast!
I had to set my phones to reject calls and block off some people who are prone to be insensitive with their words.
But guess what? Do you know those who helped?
There were the ones who reached out in love and showed they cared. They empathised. Without judging or taking sides; they extended their right hand of fellowship to me.
They found a way to reach me even though my phones were set to reject calls. They kept calling until I had to answer. In fact two people in particular called at least twice a day to check on me.
There was the one who came with his pregnant wife and little daughter – Mildred to my gate: And even though I was not receiving visitors, I had to open up to visit with them. I could not resist the sound of the little child calling out “Granma, am here, open your gate, I want to see you”
Those were the ones who pulled me out of the pit of despair I had falling into. As well as those who prayed and reached me inbox. They sent messages of encouragement without even knowing what I was up against.
And my greatest comfort of all is the Holy Spirit. He kept affirming, guiding and praying through my spirit. I’m so grateful.
Don’t be too quick to misunderstand and judge people.
You do not understand the internal battles they are fighting. It is not about you. Give people a break. Consider too that others are also working out their salvation with fear and trembling.
Love covers a multitude of sins. It’s a new season. Reach out in love and empathy. Your caring action could save a life.
Do you need your Space?
Your experience may not be as extreme as mine. Or it could worse. You may have just suffered the loss of a loved one and just want to be alone or you just want to spend some quality time with Go and do some soul searching. Great!
But you can’t be there for long.
Humans are social creatures. That’s how God programed us to be. An idle mind is the devil workshop as the saying goes. Don’t let the devil take advantage of your hurts to further fill your mind with destructive thoughts.
The more you wallow in self-pity, are unforgiving and resentful; the more bitterness will corrode your inner man, erode your confidence and corrupt your Being.
You have to make effort. Ask God to help you. Ask for prayers from other Christians. It does not mean you are less spiritual. Christianity is a together faith. We need each other
Open up the doors you shut. Let those who love you make contact.
There is an African proverbs which says “if you shut your eyes to avoid bad people, you won’t be able to see the good people when they comes”
We cannot stop taking transportation just because of high accident rates. We cannot cut of our nose to spite our face.
Enough of the human philosophy already!
Let’s consider the coexistence of evil and good from a Biblical perspective:
The Parable of the Weeds is about a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was asleep, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and slipped away. In due season, both wheat and weeds sprouted. It was quite a disturbing spectacle for those who saw it. With good intentions, they approached the owner of the field, desiring answers and directions.
He confronted them with the reality that there are enemies of progress. He said to them: “an enemy did this” (Matthew 13:28).
He further explained to them that it was necessary for evil and good to coexist for a while because: ‘if you pull the weeds now, you might uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest … At the proper time I will tell the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13: 29, 30)
God in His infinite wisdom put a plan to save humanity in place. He knew that the devil would always seek for ways to keep humans in bondage to sin, suffering, shame and sickness.
He came in human form as Jesus Christ in order to identify with our humanity and to save of from satan, the destroyer.
As Jesus Christ, God paid the price for sin, made forgiveness of sins available; took away our suffering, shame and sicknesses: He opened up a way into intimacy with God, gave us the Holy Spirit to stand with us in His place and distributed gifts to us.
Study Romans 12, 1st Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4: for a catalogue of some of the gifts God has given His people, the Church.
In his grace, God has given us in the Body of Christ different gifts for doing certain things well. He gave some the ability to prophesy; to serve; to teach; to encourage; to lead and to show kindness. (Romans 12:6-8) These are serious responsibilities that should be gladly done and graciously received.
No person is sufficient in him/herself. At various stages in our Christian walk and life’s journey, we need those with those gifts to minister to us. Denying them the opportunity would be tantamount to frustrating the grace of God in us.
For every bad person, there are two-thirds of good people. I know so because even though one-third of the angelic force rebelled against God, two-thirds still remained loyal. It is safe to posit that the good people are more than the bad.
I won’t be undermining your challenge with my next statement. We cannot shut people out because of some bad experiences. You need to make effort to open the doors you have shut. To shut people out is to shut you in. Your painful experiences should not be allowed to make you negative. It should bring out the best in you.
Solitude in Marriage:
I am aware that there are certain marriages where the couples have become roommates. For religious and financial reasons, they cannot afford divorce. They live together. That is about all they have in common. They do not communicate in whatsoever manner with each other. They avoid each other like the plague.
How did things get this bad, you may wonder?
They processed their hurts in a negative manner. Like me, their default is ‘withdraw’. Each have withdrawn into his/her comfort zone and isolated the other. The atmosphere in such a home would be thick with anger, suspicion, resentment, hatred and other evils. That is a very good environment for evil to thrive. One or both partners would be suffering from a psycho-somatic disorder. The devil has taken advantage of their unforgiveness.
The principle of seeking solitude for a short period, for the purpose of sober reflection and prayers is also applicable in a marriage relationship. In 1st Corinthians 7:5; the Apostle wrote:
“Do not deprive one another, except by mutual consent for a limited time, so you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again, so that Satan will not tempt you through your lack of self-control”.
If you need to process your pains or to pray in private, for your own sake, let it be for a short time. Seek for reconciliation before you become the victim of satanic attacks.
LET US PRAY:
- Thank God for what you have just read and for His love in making this writing available to you.
- Spend some time in praying in the Holy Spirit. Let God fill you with His presence.
- From deep within, let all the pains flow out. Ask for more grace to enable you confront your issues with people.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in this prayer to pray God’s will and to do it also.
- As the Holy Spirit convicts you of sins, just acknowledge them and ask forgiveness. No need to make excuses or justify your actions. God made this declaration in His Word which says: “I will look favorably on this kind of person: one who is humble, submissive in spirit, and trembles at My word.” (Isaiah 66:2; Holman Christian Standard Bible)
- Receive forgiveness and cleansing. Let all the bitterness, regrets and feelings of inadequacy go.
- Thank God for the speaking blood of Jesus Christ that is speaking better things such as righteousness, restoration, healing, etc. for you.
- Declare you have on the breastplate of righteousness and thus cannot harbour anger, bitterness, vindictiveness, bitterness and all other related evils in your mind.
- Affirm that you have the mind of Christ having been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and now resident in the Kingdom of light.
- Proclaim that God’s Word is richly dwelling in you and your light shines and darkness cannot comprehend it.
- Declare that the devil finds no counterpart of evil in you therefore all projections of evil, blameshifting, destructive criticisms, mind control, mind binding, manipulation and control tactics are voided by the breastplate of righteousness.
- Call out all the symptoms and negative feelings you have been having including all the ones mentioned above: command them to leave you at once, as well and all others connected and related to them.
- For this cause Christ came to destroy the works of the devil: Affirm that all the works of the devil are destroyed.
- Proclaim your liberty. The Master has set you free and you are free indeed.
- Place your hands upon your head and speak blessings over you. For every negatives you removed, replace with good. When you bind and evict evil, you must loose and plant blessings.
I am filled with unconditional love; my soul is flooded with peace, joy and righteousness; my hope is restored; my spirit, soul and body is healed. I am a blessing to my world. I have the mind of Christ and see things from a divine perspective. I am quick to hear, slow to speak and slow in getting angry. I am a blessing to my world, Thank You Abba Father, in the matchless name of Jesus Christ.
My Prayer for You:
In unity of faith I agree with all that you prayed above. As God’s servant, I speak healing, power, prosperity, progress and peace over your life. I declare that affliction with not come to you again. You shall testify of God’s goodness. Your life is changed for the better. Your stress coping skills are enhanced by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. You will continue to grow in grace. Have more favor with God and humans, in Christ matchless name. Shalom! Shalom!