In My Solitude
“The voice of by beloved! Behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, showing himself through the lattice. My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”—Song of Solomon 2:8-10
Sometimes I wonder why I do the things I do. I ask myself, “what is it all for?” “What good is my life really accomplishing?” The sacrifices I make often appear to me like whispering into an empty room. I struggle and no one sees. I fight and rarely seem to win. When I do win a victory I hear no one cheer.
I am finding that the war between the flesh and the spirit never ceases. One day I am soaring above the clouds, feeling the refreshing winds of life. The next day the flesh grabs me and pulls me into the darkness of despair. That condition brings with it such emptiness. It makes me feel so alone. I see how the flesh tries to control me, to create my feelings and to dictate my outlook. There are things that bring me down where I do not want to be. I have learned that my body does not like to be told what to do. It wants to enjoy only pleasant experiences.
In spite of these times however, I am slowly becoming more accustomed to soaring. I am beginning to understand the elevation that spiritual life brings. I find the Lord gently leading me to higher ground. It is hard to express in words, but sometimes my heart is so full of good things that it almost wants to burst.
Once I was spiritually soaring, and I saw something I never expected to see. By my standards, I was very high, but I was beginning to realize that I had barely gone into the foothills of where the Lord dwells. Far above me were mountain ranges that were simply spectacular. They were awesome, and I thought that those immense mountain tops could never be for me. I was just a child with so many upward and downward swings. I realized that I crawled through life more often than I soared.
As I dwelt at my low elevation I looked up to those white peaks and saw the forms of men standing shoulder to shoulder peering down an me. As I struggled to look at them I reached a little higher than before and I had to stop for rest. In the quiet and solitude of the wilderness I could faintly hear them in the distance. They were calling to me, cheering me on, telling me not to quit, not to get discouraged. With the Lord’s help I could make it if I didn’t give up.
As I listened I tried to imagine what it must be like up on the mountain tops. Where I was resting was the most breathtaking spot I had ever been. What could it be like on those distant pinnacles if the mere foothills were so grand?
I wanted to go. I wanted to be with them, and yet I could not. There was an overpowering force pulling me downward. There were many things to learn before I could fly to those heights. What kept me back were my own imperfections, my own inabilities to love and to give, and to serve others. The Lord was showing me that the door to those wonderful high places was the door of his will. I had to abandon myself to him, to become his artwork, to be fashioned by his hand.
I began to see that to live at the heights of spirituality that I had begun to glimpse my selfishness had to be removed. The road ahead was a road of service, of love.
The path looks so long and hard, but now I know that there is a great brotherhood cheering us on. This is a path others have trod, a path that only the Lord’s grace can lead us through. It is the journey that the Lord so desperately wants us to follow. It is the pathway to our Beloved.