God-First Response

Gold Brush Stroke

When I finally accepted I was losing my first baby through miscarriage, my desire was to be alone.

Feeling completely isolated in my grief, I was certain no one else could relate, and definitely no one could make it right. Therefore, I chose to walk the dark road of despair solo.

alone in winter3

I wallowed in the mire of self-pity and bitterness for weeks. Nothing anyone said made me feel better. Sorrow became my reality.

However, graciously over time, God’s firm persistence broke through my wall, and He encouraged me to live again.

Nearly two decades and many painful scenes later, I still find myself getting away by myself to process difficult situations, only now in a much healthier manner.

My responses to and understanding of suffering are far more mature than they were in those early adult years. Being alone now doesn’t really mean being alone.

It never did; I just didn’t realize it. God was always there, ready to wipe away my tears, meeting me in my greatest need.

God was always there, ready to wipe away my tears, meeting me in my greatest need. Share on X

For me, being alone now means drawing nearer to God instead of fleeing from Him.

It means resting in His arms instead of waiting for Him to chase me down.

It means seeking guidance, wisdom, peace, and comfort.

Prayer First

This type of response to difficult circumstances is supported throughout  the Bible. The greatest model of “prayer-first” is found in the personhood of Jesus Christ, the Perfect Model.

There are many instances recorded in Scripture when Jesus sought solitude. As far as I can tell, they all took place immediately preceding or directly after stressful situations.

For example, immediately upon receiving the news that John the Baptist was beheaded, Matthew 14:13 reads that the Messiah “withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone.” It doesn’t say exactly why Jesus wanted to be alone, but other passages give us a pretty clear understanding:

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there (Mark 1:35).

“After He said good-bye to them, He went away to the mountain to pray” (Mark 6:46).

“Yet He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).

The primary reason Christ Jesus isolated Himself was to pray. Even at the height of His distress, in the Garden of Gethsemane, we find our Savior, “sorrowful and deeply distressed” seeking time alone to pray (Matthew 26:36–45).

These references should give us comfort and great insight into processing our grief and sorrows. We aren’t left alone to wonder what the best course of action is when darkness strikes.

The Word makes it clear: Jesus Christ, the great I AM, the Messiah, the Son of Man felt it necessary to regularly commune with His Father, especially during times of distress. How much more important is it for us to do the same!

The best course of action to take when darkness strikes is to commune with our Father. Share on X

Public Domain - Art

Public Domain – Art

I used to choose to go life alone. To trudge the lonely, pothole-filled road isolated in my suffering. But thanks to a merciful, loving Father, I’ve learned a better way.

Spending time in prayer should be the first course of action during troubling times. Seeking the face of the Lord will bring us comfort, wisdom, and strength to persevere in this sin-filled world. He will help us carry our cross!

Seeking the face of the Lord will bring us comfort, wisdom, and strength to persevere in this sin-filled world. Share on X

“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength” (Ephesians 6:10).

Reflection: The importance of spending time in prayer before the Lord is demonstrated for us in Jesus’ life on earth as recorded in the Gospels. How has the power of prayer been evident in your life? Have you observed the difference a God-first response makes in how you handle stress?

By His Grace,



  1. Betty Waddington on January 18, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Julie, I would like permission to put this in the Pilot Knob Church Newsletter which I am doing this week. Not the pictures, just the text. Great article. Let me know.

    • juliesunne on January 18, 2012 at 7:53 am

      I would be honored, Betty. May those that read it be moved to spend their “firsts” with the Comforter and Director of all. Enjoy a grace-filled day!

  2. Katie on January 18, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    When I’m fighting stress, I have to make myself stop and rest in His presence. Finding the good things in the midst of chaos is so helpful, and praying first for wisdom and peace calms my spirit.

    • juliesunne on January 18, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      Yes, Katie, in unsettling times we often want to react quickly. You’re wise to stop and seek the Lord first. “Finding the good things in the midst of chaos” gives us perspective. May calmness and peace mark the rest of your week.

  3. 120119–George Hach’s journal–Thursday | George Hach's Blog on January 19, 2012 at 7:51 am

    […] God-First Response (juliesunne.com) […]

Leave a Comment

Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

Search the Blog


25 spotlight bible verses
Maintain Godly Focus!

Are you struggling to maintain godly focus in the mess of each day's living? Do you too easily find yourself worrying about circumstances instead of trusting in God's promises? If you answered yes, why not download my ebook. It's filled with 25 power verses with space for personal reflection to help you maintain godly focus, no matter what situations arise.

(Privacy policy: Don't worry, your information is safe you can unsubscribe at any time.)

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

New Book, Just Released!

Sometimes I Forget by Julie Sunne