Welcome to Day 9 of our Deeply Loved Lenten journey.

(By the way, if you’d like more frequent updates on this journey, follow me on Instagram or Facebook where I’m posting video devotionals every weekday.)

We live in a noisy, hectic world. Wouldn’t it be great to push pause, to step away for just a few moments? Today’s Deeply Loved practice is counter-cultural—but one that has been essential in the spiritual formation of Christians for centuries.

Today, you’re invited to spend time alone with God. You have the opportunity, if you’re willing to seize it, to put away distractions (including your phone!), in order to connect with the one who loves you best.

It’s not complicated. Find a place away from others (okay, that might be complicated, but you can do it!). Bring just your Bible and a journal. Then: Breathe. Listen. Simply be with God, without an agenda or to-do list or demands. Your goal is simply to settled down, get quiet, and enjoy God.

The surprising cure for loneliness

We think our phones and other communication keep us connected. If that’s true, why do we sometimes feel so lonely? The cure for loneliness, surprisingly, is solitude.

Solitude is more than just being alone. Rather, this life-giving practice invites us to be alone with God.

Photo by Aaron Burden from StockSnap

Solitude, and its companion, silence, provide us a path to intimacy. The belonging and love we long for is found in these spiritual practices that simply ask us to let go, settle down, be quiet and alone.

Solitude can be challenging if you’re not used to it. But the more you engage in it, the more you begin to relax into it, to enjoy the freedom that disconnecting from the distractions brings.

You’re invited to play

Solitude and silence are interconnected practices. So today and tomorrow, you’ll play with these two practices. The good news? You can’t do it “wrong.” You’re simply practicing and playing, trying it out. Ask God to meet you, and be quiet enough to listen to the still small voice that tells you that you are deeply loved.

Our Deeply Loved journey includes short video devotions five days a week, posted on Instagram and Facebook. Click through and follow me so you won’t miss a day of encouraging content. Be sure to subscribe to my blog to get these updates in your inbox.

Join us by picking up a copy of Deeply Loved at your favorite book retailer.

If you want to explore the practices of solitude and silence more deeply, I highly recommend Ruth Haley Barton’s book Invitation to Solitude and Silence.