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      Solitude Reflections

      Yesterday, I shared that I was taking some time for solitude – some time away from my normal routine to listen for God.  I’d like to share my reflections on this time.

      As I sat on my front porch yesterday morning, the skies were still fairly dark and the water was still dripping down the gutter drain pipes after a night of rain.  It’s a challenging this to clear ones mind of all the distractions and thoughts.  For some reason, I kept repeating the phrase “Seek first the kingdom of God” as I tried to center my thoughts away from me and onto God.  Over and over again, “Seek first the kingdom of God.  Seek first the kingdom of God.  Seek first the kingdom of God.”  And that’s when it happened.

      God sends his messengers of nature to speak into my life.  As I was sitting on my porch trying to quiet my mind, I first heard the loud droning of bull fogs in the pond across our front lawn.  I heard the garbage trucks in the distance as the morning sky began to brighten.  I tried to block out the distractions of life – what will I blog about next, what do I need to do at work today, what will I eat for breakfast.  And then it appeared – a simple sign from God.  A buck walks slowly across my front lawn.

      As the deer pants for streams of water,
          so my soul pants for you, my God.
      My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
          When can I go and meet with God?
      My tears have been my food
          day and night,
      while people say to me all day long,
          “Where is your God?”
      These things I remember
          as I pour out my soul:
      how I used to go to the house of God
          under the protection of the Mighty One
      with shouts of joy and praise
          among the festive throng.

      Why, my soul, are you downcast?
          Why so disturbed within me?
      Put your hope in God,
          for I will yet praise him,
          my Savior and my God.

      My soul is downcast within me;
          therefore I will remember you
      from the land of the Jordan,
          the heights of Hermon —from Mount Mizar.
      Deep calls to deep
          in the roar of your waterfalls;
      all your waves and breakers
          have swept over me.

      By day the Lord directs his love,
          at night his song is with me—
          a prayer to the God of my life.

      I say to God my Rock,
          “Why have you forgotten me?
      Why must I go about mourning,
          oppressed by the enemy?”
      My bones suffer mortal agony
          as my foes taunt me,
      saying to me all day long,
          “Where is your God?”

      Why, my soul, are you downcast?
          Why so disturbed within me?
      Put your hope in God,
          for I will yet praise him,
          my Savior and my God.

      Psalm 42

      These are the words I needed to hear this day.  God is the only “stream” that can satisfy the longings, cravings, and desires of my heart.  I strive after so many earthly things, but God alone brings refreshment and contentment.

      I’m not sure that I’ve been depressed, but I’ve certainly been discouraged by the onslaught of headaches and lack of energy over the past few months.  I have sought all kinds of human remedies to alleviate these symptoms, but I wonder if I’ve failed to truly give these things to God.  Do I get it that God loves me and that God wants what is best for me?  It seems so easy to depend on things that I can control.  In reality, I need to give these things to God.

      My time of solitude was refreshing.  It refocused me on God – where my life should be centered.  “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.”  Thank you for the reminder.  May I always seek the only Water that satisfies.

      Any thoughts to add?  How has God been speaking to you?

      What’s your favorite drink?