By Chaplain (Col) Stephen W. Leonard, USA, Ret.

“And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” John 17:3
We are social creatures. Our lives are interwoven in relationships with many other social creatures. We do not live in isolation.
Neither has the God who has always been. The three persons of our triune God are never, and have never been, in isolation!
One of the punishments in prison is the consignment to solitary confinement. Such is particularly a punishment when it is forced upon you and not freely chosen. Or, never interspersed with any social interaction to break the sheer loneliness of being all alone for a long period of time.
But we are creatures of God who can enjoy being alone as long as it is not so long. But in reality, if we are willing to acknowledge it, we are never alone. His eyes are always on His children. He is always near us. He is never far away. He is present in our conscience, our spirit, our soul.
To some, that is a great joy. We fear being too far from God. To others, fearing God’s presence; not wanting God, or anyone with His values, to then know what you do or what you think.
It is a great joy, rest, thrill, and need to be alone with God; to enjoy only His presence and intimacy. Such is refreshing, renewing, resetting.
Many years ago I remember one day so well I have never forgotten it, even though it has been repeated in many different circumstances of exciting or even common settings through eight decades.
I was high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in a wilderness preserve walking an an alpine trail through meadows of wildflowers, forests with clumps of blue Columbines, crossing clear cool streams with intermittent waterfalls, stepping through scattered clumps of snow, below spectacularly blue skies, jaggedly pierced with snow covered mountain peaks, and yet all alone with my Lord, the Creator of it all.
Basking in His presence, talking intimately with Him while thanking Him for making it all, and placing me in its magical midst. This is the very reason for purposeful meaning in the whole of life.
This day was only months prior to being in the jungles of Vietnam with the threatening possibility of death constantly lurking while fighting a life and death war. The contrast was extremely beyond imagination.
If we believe in Him, we spend time with Him. Among others, yes, and then, so often alone with Him. In both of these settings, pursuing Him, we draw closer.
We are alone, we think, in our thoughts and conversations with ourselves. We can never actually get away from me. Nor according to the Psalmist (139) can we get away from God, the knower and protector of our souls.
We come to know Him. We come to know me so much more. We not only worship Him all the more knowingly, but we become comfortable in the presence of our holy God, so much so that heaven is yearned for. Heaven will not be the shock to us, nor the embarrassment, but it will be a coming home.
Enter into His presence with rejoicing. Seek Him while He may be found. Pursue His face. Know Him through the frequency of fellowship. Cling to Him and like Jacob, never let Him go until He blesses you. Until He blesses you with His constant, acknowledged, enlivening presence.


“My Jesus I love Thee, I know thou art mine; for Thee all the follies of sin I resign; my gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou; if ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.”
(1st verse of William Featherston’s hymn, “My Jesus, I Love Thee,” 1864)

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