James A. Washington

One of the telling things about being a Christian, no matter how new the claim might be, is a newfound understanding and appreciation of being by yourself. I don’t mean being lonely or anything. I mean being alone with the Lord.

Some might call it prayer, others meditation. You can call it what you want to, but being alone with God is a whole lot different than being alone without God. Understanding this reality once you’ve accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior can take some getting used to.

Many of us have had great difficulty dealing with self. We can find countless things to do with alone time on our hands; lights get turned on, channel surfing starts in earnest, music blasts, people get called, and shopping gets done. Life got you down?

We aren’t comfortable with who we really are. It might be fear. It might be shame. It could even be embarrassment. All of this and more comes into play when circumstances force us to look back over our own lives without external interference or internal rationalizations. That deafening silence we’re afraid of is filled with the rather loud volume of truth.

Yes, you said it. You did it, and you had a great time while you were at it. But now, if the truth be known, you really wish you hadn’t. You knew better then, and you certainly know better now. But you did it anyway, thinking if nobody knew, if nobody was watching, then maybe, probably, it would be okay.

Wrong! The closer you get to accepting the Lord’s call upon you, the more you come to understand that facing up to your inner demons is required learning. Coming to grips with one’s sinful past is a prerequisite for all future relationships and some you’re in right now, particularly the one with Jesus Christ.

The peace of reconciliation with one’s self begins and ends with the unadulterated truth that nothing can stand between you and the God who loves you, not your pride or ego, not your insecurity, not your sinful nature, nor your clouded view of who you think you really are, as opposed to who God knows you are.

If God’s in the picture, it’s just you and Him. And He accepts no substitutes for you, no pretenders, gamesters, no pretense or facades. He knows your essence, and that’s what He wants. It’s what He demands. But isn’t that the beauty of what He offers all of us? Isn’t it His essence that we actually seek?

You had better get used to the man or woman in the mirror. That is exactly who God made and whom He loves, warts and all. Once this revelation is internalized, it is the most powerful gift in this and any other world.

Now you can fill those otherwise lonely moments with the truth that you are surrounded by the ever-present crowd of One. The key is knowing you’ve always got that one ever-present companion. In His eyes you are the extraordinary one. After all, He made you in His image. Now go find a quiet spot away from everyone and look for Him inside you. Listen carefully. 

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