Tears rolled down my face this morning as my Bible study lesson spoke about confinement. You know. Those times where God allows you to be isolated from the rest of the world. The periods of your life where you feel alone, without anyone to talk to.
Have you ever felt confined?
I remembered two stretches where I was shut off from the world, our move eleven years ago, and a ministry transition three years ago. As I thought about those two situations, the pain rose to the surface again. That’s when the tears flowed.
But what I know is that God used both of these scenarios for spiritual growth and both happened to prepare me for directional changes in life. Drawn to people, the Lord had to force me into solitude to only drink from his spiritual well. Psalm 87 says, “All my fountains are in you.”
Sometimes we have to learn the hard way that people cannot fill us.
Our confidantes can’t solve all our problems.
We put too much pressure on others, and our expectations are too high.
God allows the void so we realize our nourishment is only from him.
When we think about confinement in the Bible, Joseph comes to mind. He was sold into slavery by his brothers. While in Egypt, he was falsely accused by his boss’ wife and thrown into prison.
Joseph was confined.
What do you think God was teaching him during his period of confinement?
But the Lord finally allowed Joseph’s release from prison and he was exalted into second in command in Egypt. He was placed in that position so he could help his people during a time of famine. When his brothers sought help, he hid his identity from them at first but in Genesis 45:1, the stern façade came off. Scripture says Joseph “wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.” I used to believe Joseph bawled because he was homesick and happy to see his family, but I think those tears were laced with the pain of what he had endured. However, it was through the pain and confinement that Joseph understood the purpose for his life. He told his brothers “Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you” (Genesis 45:5).
Are you feeling separated from the world?
Maybe you are ill.
Maybe you experienced the loss of a loved one.
You could be in between jobs.
I don’t know what has created your confinement, but during your time of isolation God is beckoning you to enter his presence and be fulfilled only by him.
He is the only one who can satisfy spiritual thirst.
He is the one to comfort you.
Through your confinement, he desires to teach you and prepare you for the next step of your journey.