I can’t believe that three weeks have already gone by.  Today is the last day of our 21-day journey together.  It has been such an amazing experience for me.  For those who have followed me for these past 21 days, I hope these posts have made an impact on you as well.  Today, I end the series with the most important lessons that I have learned on this journey:  Don’t be afraid to go it alone.  Sometimes, we have to learn to be our own best friend—our own cheerleader.

Earlier this week, I thought about the lives of David and Joseph.  Both of these two men were significantly used by God to impact His Kingdom, and yet both faced extended periods of isolation as God prepared them for greatness.  Joseph was sold into slavery and was later accused of rape, for which he was placed in prison.  David was initially overlooked for kingship, and then when selected he was persecuted by his predecessor, King Saul.  As I read about the lives of both of these great men, I wondered, where were their friends.  There was no recount of friends who tried to free Joseph from slavery or of those who had visited him in prison.  The same could also be said of David.  The only friend that the Bible mentioned was Jonathan, Saul’s son, and I wondered just how much he confided in him considering that he was the son of his archenemy.  Yes, both of these two men were isolated, and perhaps, lonely.  They had to learn to develop a deep reliance on God and a comfortability in their own skin.  They had to learn to be their own best friend.

God was intentional when He separated David and Joseph from the masses. In those moments of isolation, He taught them about faith, courage, strength, self-reliance, God-dependence, grace, humility and friendship.  I’m sure they learned a lot about friendship.  According to a very popular Internet quote, “In good times your friends know you, but in bad times you know your friends.”  One of the greatest lessons that David and Joseph probably learned during their period of isolation was discernment.  They not only learned to hear and recognize the voice and the will God, they also learned to recognized those things that were or were not in alignment with His will for their lives.  Yes, our periods of isolation, which we have all gone through or will go through, are difficult.  They are lonely.  They are depressing, but they are important.  It is important that God separates us from the noise and the distractions.  God’s voice is seldom heard over the noise and the chaos.  It’s often heard in a whisper.  Just ask Elijah:

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper,” (1 King 19:11-12).

God has amazing plans for all His children.  There are things on the heart of the Father that cannot be heard during the midst of chaos.  In order for God to reveal His plans, we have to be willing and prepared to spend moments alone, separated from the crowd.