Encouragement, Isolation and Solitude
Last night's Bible study was about several things, and I keep saying I'm going to order the audio CDs so I can listen to Beth Moore's lessons again when I'm driving. She talked about encouraging each other, that our enemy (satan) has a lot to accuse us of - if we let him! - that he can't take our salvation but can cause us to doubt it; that every time we take offense, the enemy has outwitted us; that he will use isolation to discourage and try to defeat us, that we need each other.
I had never really thought of isolation as being something satan can use against us, but isolation is not exactly the same as solitude, which we all need at times to recharge our batteries! Isolation is being cut off, either by our own actions, or being in such a position that we can be manipulated by someone to keep us from reaching for help or connecting with others. Solitude, on the other hand, is that peace and quiet we seek from time to time to refresh our spirits and meet with God to worship Him and to listen to His voice - as Psalm 131:2 says "I have calmed and quieted myself like a little weaned child with its mother; I am like a little child." We can lean up against Him.
Isolation is being cut off. Solitude is for reconnecting.
Encouragement: We ladies all stood shoulder to shoulder during the final part of the video, in the room where we met, demonstrating that we are so close that the devil cannot get between any of us. We have to stay connected and near each other so he will have no room to work!
Tonight another women's ministry will begin: a grief support group which meets once a month. To demonstrate the great points above, here are the choices I have - do I go to the meeting and see if and how I can encourage someone else and be encouraged? Or do I stay at home and isolate myself from a possible opportunity where God wants me. Do I stay at home and encourage myself to rest and choose solitude to quiet myself after a day at work and away from home (which I love)? (I don't think watching the VP debates on TV would exactly quiet my spirit!) I tend to over think, as I have been told by more than one person!
I believe we know when we choose the right thing: we have peace about it. Right now I'm hearing: "Go!"