Seeking Solitary Sanctuary
In the depths of still quietness, we are wont to hear that which is usually shouted down into the recesses of our minds by the noise that is become of our world today. Sifting through the labyrinth of filth piling up daily around us shall be that serene sound of godly counsel, reviving our spirits and minds, if we lie beside still waters.
My experience has been pretty empowering. A choice I have made, to be reflective and quiet, has afforded me much time for “self”. A nostalgic exhilaration captures me in a flight to surreal reality every time I succeed in extricating myself from pressing cares of life; a bird’s view of my life, as if I were apart from it. The abundance of life residing in our mortal bodies is the reason for those hot tears of joy that brim our eyes when we stand in awe before God. His wondrous deeds in all of His creation, His unsearchable wisdom towering enduringly over our folly, love that breaks our hard hearts, the joy that lifts our spirits with songs of praise, the reassurance of His redeeming grace; the awareness of these is never more overwhelming than in that hour between man and His God.
There we lay an account for our lives, truthfully, unabashed; looking to the Lamb. We cease to labour to work out a righteousness of our sort and love spurs us on to good works as God would have us do. Condemnation is silenced. It has no place in our daily-renewed mind. Scurrying back up from our many falls, we have the assurance that from before the throne of mercy, we have obtained grace to help us in times of need.
The nourishing truth of the Ancient Word is our bread, the one thing by which we live. Where else could we possibly go, for therein the Sanctuary shall the words of life be found! In deep conversation, we preach to ourselves. We keep the Word of God alive in our hearts and change our minds to live it out.
Jesus’ first activity after the public declaration at the Jordan was to head out into the wilderness. Countless times, towards the close of day, He’d retreat to a place of solitude, emerging on the morrow. His was a focusing place, where He could peer up into the heavens and thus maintain the detachment from the world and constancy to the will of His Father. When we are told to fix our eyes on to the celestial, there’s no better place than in that moment when God draws you into Himself, hides you in the cleft of a Rock and reveals His glory to you. That is no place for all crowds and cronies. It is the secret place of God, from whence the most intimate prayers, gifts and sacrifices are received by Him.
Loud thunder and tree-plucking earthquakes are imposing manifestations of God’s power, but even more so is the quiet flow of His Spirit with ours that totally conquers and subdues our minds and bodies. Before we have reached out to our friends, relatives, mentors and psychologists about what may be plaguing us, there is a more freely and immediately available resort, God with and in us. When 1 Corinthians records that our bodies are God’s sanctuary, do we realize the awe of Emmanuel? God with us? When confronted with decisions and temptations, are we conscious that God is right with us to see us through? Do we designate a certain hill, mountain, grove or building as the place of our meeting with God before acknowledging that we are the very houses of prayer, of worship?
With this realization, time and distance, friends and conversations, studies and business will no longer suffice to hold us from dwelling in the secret place of the Most High. Even as we set out to places of worship and prayer, we will not hallow them for themselves. We will worship, pray, praise, preach, listen to the Word of God, meditate upon God’s Word, fast; live the life that Jesus illustrated as we crunch those numbers, draw designs, test hypotheses, examine specimens, wash, walk…God will be with us. The earnest search, thirst and hunger for God will ever be with us and will be continually met.
We shall dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of our lives.
This article was written by Boniface Ngamau, Economics Student at the University of Nairobi.
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