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The Sanctuary of Solitude

“Where are you?” the Spirit whispered to me. “I am right here!” I quickly replied. “Where?” He asked again. “I am here. I am with my family – teaching my daughter Your ways and loving my husband. I am in Your House – building your church. I am with my friends – encouraging and supporting them to be all that You have called them to be. I am right here!”

The Spirit whispered to me again, “I didn’t ask what you were doing, I asked where you were.” I sat stunned by my inability to answer this question. Where was I? The truth is I didn’t know where I was. I was so lost in the busyness, in the chaos, in the constant motion of life. The busyness, the stress and the chaos had become the only places that I could locate myself.

The Spirit gently called, “come and sit awhile, catch your breath and still your soul. Come away to a place where it’s just me and you. I have so missed you and we have so much to catch up on”. My eyes began to fill with tears as I realised that I had become so lost in the busyness that I had neglected the very One I was doing it all for. Daily, we had still grabbed moments together, but the moments didn’t have the space to mature into what God intended them to be.

My moments with God, my moments in His presence, had become fleeting because I was so caught up in current of life.

Where are you today? Would you locate yourself in busyness? Or perhaps in chaos and stress? Would you locate yourself in a place of heaviness? Are you living under the burden of unreal expectations or unfulfilled desires?

Wherever you locate yourself, would you lean into this moment, right where you are now, to hear the Spirit whisper to you, “come and sit awhile, catch your breath and still your soul.”

When we give our moments with God some time, those moments have the potential to mature into life-giving wisdom, grace-filled empowerment & soul-refreshing strength. If only we would create the space to linger in the moments!

As the Spirit called me to Himself, in all my brokenness, I came to Him. I put aside the busyness, I put aside the stress, I put aside the ‘doing’ and I came to Him. His loving embrace held me as I wept, His grace covered my failings and His presence welcomed me home. I allowed time in the moment for it to be all it needed to be and in that place of solitude, in His presence where it was just me and God, my soul knew that this is where I always desired to be.

{I had found the sanctuary of solitude}

Maybe the thought of being alone scares you! Solitude and loneliness are very different!

Solitude ~ the state or situation of being alone (withdrawal, privacy, peace and quiet)

Lonely ~ the feeling of sadness because one has no friends or company (unwanted, abandoned, forsaken)

God calls each of us continually to Himself, He has wired us for personal, intimate, relationship. His love is constantly wooing us into His sanctuary. When we locate ourselves in dark places, in hard places, in frantic places, He calls us to come away.

He beckons us to withdraw from all the distractions, to go to a place of privacy so that He can restore our peace and quiet. In that place we now locate ourselves in His sanctuary of solitude.

In His sanctuary we are never alone or without a friend. In His presence our hearts are made whole, we are fully accepted and never abandoned.

Jesus understood the importance of withdrawing to a place of solitude where He could met with His Father:

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35

“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16

At a time where Jesus’ disciples were extremely busy, so busy they didn’t even have time to eat (I have been there!) He called them to come away with Him to a solitary place to find rest:

“Because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, [Jesus] said to [his disciples], ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place” Mark 6:31

Today He is calling us to come away with Him, to a solitary place, away from the busyness and the chaos. He invites us to step into the sanctuary of solitude where our soul finds home, rest and strength in His presence.

Can I encourage you not to make this visit a once off, but to create the space to make the sanctuary of solitude your home base. The place that you locate yourself regardless of what your external world looks like. The place where you respond to His whisper and run into His arms.

The sanctuary is open for you and I today, would you respond to His call, put aside whatever you need and withdraw with the lover of your soul.

“There’s a private place reserved for the lovers of God, where they sit near him and receive the revelation-secrets of his promises” Psalms 25:14 (TpT)


Elise Heerde is a wife, mother, teacher and writer from Melbourne who loves Jesus and passionately shares about the grace, hope and love that He offers to all. She deeply desires to see the broken made whole, the captives set free and the lost brought home. You can find her instagram account here @her.anchor

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