“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” (Mark 1:35)
What good is it to be surrounded by thousands, if God is absent from your life? Why envy those who have the sweetest of human companionship, but lack the sweeter friendship of God?
Though it is not good that man should be alone, it was not the will of the Father that His Son should have an earthly bride. But was the Son ever alone? When even His dearest earthly companions left Him, He could boldly say: “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16:32).
Jesus was not afraid of the solitary places. It was there that He found the closeness of His Father’s presence. It was there that He drew near to His truest and best companion, and God drew near to Him.
God sent His Son into the wilderness for forty days. There He encountered both God and Satan. There He was tested as to who He would love, worship, and serve. When He exited the solitary place, He was more full of God than He had ever been before. “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee …” (Luke 4:14) He was ready to begin His ministry among men, and eager to find the solitary place again and again.
Don’t be afraid of the wilderness if God is awaiting you there. Know that the company of flesh and blood can be good; but the company of God is far, far better.