He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. (Matthew 14: 23)
Christ Jesus, in His humanity, felt the need of complete solitude— to be entirely by Himself, alone with Himself. Each of us knows how draining constant interchange with others can be and how it exhausts our energy. As part of humankind, Jesus knew this and felt the need to be by Himself in order to regain His strength. Solitude was also important to Him in order to fully realize His high calling, His human weakness, and His total dependence on His Father.
As a child of God, how much more do we need times of complete solitude— times to deal with the spiritual realities of life and to be alone with God the Father. If there was ever anyone who could dispense with special times of solitude and fellowship, it was our Lord. Yet even He could not maintain His full strength and power for His work and His fellowship with the Father without His quiet time. God desires that every servant of His would understand and perform this blessed practice, that His church would know how to train its children to recognize this high and holy privilege, and that every believer would realize the importance of making time for God alone.
Oh, the thought of having God all alone to myself and knowing that God has me all alone to Himself!
Lamartine, the first of the French Romantic poets and a writer of the nineteenth century, in one of his books wrote of how his mother had a secluded spot in the garden where she spent the same hour of each day. He related that nobody ever dreamed of intruding upon her for even a moment of that hour. It was the holy garden of the Lord to her.
Pity those people who have no such Beulah land! (See Isa. 62: 4.) Jesus said, “Go into your room, close the door and pray” (Matt. 6: 6), for it is in quiet solitude that we catch the deep and mysterious truths that flow from the soul of the things God allows to enter our lives.
My soul, practice being alone with Christ! The Scripture says, “When he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything” (Mark 4: 34). Do not wonder about the truth of this verse, for it can be true of your life as well. If you desire to have understanding, then dismiss the crowd, just as Jesus did. (See Matt. 14: 22.) Let them “go away one at a time . . . until only Jesus [is] left” (John 8: 9) with you. Have you ever pictured yourself as the last remaining person on earth, or the only person left in the entire universe?
If you were the only person remaining in the universe, your every thought would be, “God and I . . . ! God and I . . . !” And yet He is already as close to you as that. He is as near as if no heart but His and yours ever beat throughout the boundlessness of space. O my soul, practice that solitude! Practice dismissing the crowd! Practice the stillness of your heart! Practice the majestic song “God and I! God and I!” Let no one come between you and your wrestling angel! You will receive conviction yet pardon, when you meet Jesus alone!
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 404). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.