Saturday, February 28, 2015

Alone at Last

image used under Public Domain license, photo obtained from pixabay
A friend of mine recently went through one of those moments where they were feeling very alone, much like the man in our illustration, walking his own path, none around him for support, no physical or emotional contact.  Those feelings can make for some lonely, scary moments.

It's easy to say that we were created with a God sized hole in our soul or spirit that only He can fill, but our flesh tries all kinds of alternative ways to unsuccessfully fill that hole.  I've asked for Biblical evidence of that one.  I never get it.  Yet, it fits all we know about God. His desire to be one with us.  But it's also too simplistic and, in a way, it disrespects people who experience those moments of loneliness -- all of us.  My own experiences and meditations have taught me some things.  Follow along with me and let God bless you in this.


image used under Creative Commons license, 
photo by Keoni Cabral, from Flickr
Our title is my sense of humor at work.  I think the line comes from some old romcom movie, filmed in that most ancient of color schemes, black and white.  And, once the kids are all in bed, we probably can't count the number of parents who've said that.  Being alone or alone with the right someone can be fun. When that feeling of loneliness creeps in, the fun disappears.  Like our second picture, we can be in a crowd and still lonely.  There's no connection.  Or, perhaps, the craving is for adult closeness when the only people we have that connection with are our children.

If someone says they've never experienced that, they're either being less than honest with us or themselves, or they have a blessedly faulty memory.  Before Adam and Eve fell, there was this:

Genesis 2:18 (KJV)  And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

God approved a partner as part of what goes into that God sized hole.  And, if you haven't noticed by now, this isn't about sex.  It's about relationship.  So, in some cases, a really close friend we can share things with will fit the bill.  It's part of what's built into us.  It can be a corner of that God sized hole.  How about some of Solomon's thoughts on the subject?

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (KJV)  Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

That one's a double edged sword because it can relate to both being close to God and it can speak to having a human connection.  And when we're not seeing that by experience, It can be easy for others to spout truisms or verses like Hebrews 13:5, "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.".  But our focus is then more on ourselves, probably unintentionally, and that gets in the way of our receiving that.  And it gets in the way of allowing God to heal our hurt.  From personal experience, I can tell you there are times when there's nothing quite like the right word at the right time or a good warm hug from the right person.

How do we get from loneliness to fully experiencing the joy of the Lord?  First and foremost, is the willingness to get out of that sense of self pity, involuntary or otherwise, that we all seem so good at creating.  When we are ready:

1 Peter 5:6-7 (KJV)  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Psalm 147:3 (KJV)  He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

And there's always Psalm 23:1-6.

The change could be instantaneous or it could be a slow progression.  The latter thought will have us asking "How much longer, Lord?" or "Why me, Lord?".  That got me thinking of some interesting examples.  How about Joseph in the pit (Genesis 37:24), Moses made two trips up Sinai to get God's commandments ... alone.  Jesus had His 40 days of temptation, the demonic attack in the garden at Gethsemane, and His scourging, all with no support from followers.  And we all know this one:

Matthew 27:46 (KJV)  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Some of the great moments in the Bible had to be experienced alone.  Indeed, THE greatest moment had Jesus separated from the Father in order to accomplish our salvation.  In every case, the relationship with God is then solidified and increased.  

We talk about how much God loves us and everything He does is for our benefit.  So whether we are lonely for an instant or an eon, like everything else, it will bring something personally great in the Kingdom.  Are we ready to receive God's blessings from our trials, today?

3 comments:

  1. This is a great post brother and well thought out! Personally I make the alone times much harder than they should be by fighting it every step of the way. Like taking a hike through the forest running, not only do I miss the beauty of the forest I also miss the melody of it as well.

    Thank you so much~

    I'm hid with Christ!
    Shawn

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  2. I've had times when I've been forced into alone time. Sometimes complaining to God that this wasn't what I intended. Boy am I glad He's patient and tolerated my whining! After enough times, I finally figured out His plan ALWAYS worked better than mine. And there are posts on this blog that never would have come into existence if I hadn't had the alone time for them.

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  3. Amen! Great post Bill, well done faithful steward :)

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