Day 17 – “Restored From Loneliness”June 8, 2012
Restored From Loneliness
“…And surely I am with you
always, to the very end of the age.”
There are times when we all feel lonely. It’s funny though, there are times when I’m alone and it’s really ok. In fact, I really like some solitude every once in a while, it gives me time to think, time to have some quiet in my heart. Though there are other times when I can’t stand to feel isolated. I hate that awful feeling that nobody gets me; others just don’t understand me. That’s when I get a sense that I’m alone in this world. Sometimes it feels as though life is a party and I wasn’t invited. I’m left on the outside looking in as lives of others progress onward while mine feels like a statue frozen in the middle of some town square. There are moments of emptiness when I can be surrounded by many people and yet on the inside be withdrawn and inaccessible. Whatever the cause of these feelings, we are not made for long term isolation; physically,
emotionally, and especially spiritually.
God designed us for fellowship, not just superficial stuff, but real and deep connections with others. I’ve noticed those times when people
determine to have a long term withdrawal from others, it is mostly driven by their own personal wounds, their refusal to forgive or the hurt has been so devastating that they just don’t know where to begin to heal. The irony is, the more we isolate ourselves, the more wounded we feel which only affirms how much we really want and need fellowship. Most isolated people that I know have learned to be lonely. Loneliness isn’t the goal they start out with, it’s just a defense mechanism they’ve learned in order to cope with their wounds, but it’s not what is meant to be!
Don’t get me wrong, all of us should find some space and time to be quiet because it’s necessary for our sanity, but it’s a short term
hiatus, not a long term destination. Being alone for a time is a personal choice. Being lonely is a condition of the heart. The condition of loneliness is what we were never made for. All of us are meant to be connected to someone, even if it’s just one.
I guess the big question is; how can this day be different for our lonely hearts? Well, the place to start is in the understanding that there
is a big difference between loneliness and aloneness. When Jesus assures us of His companionship He eradicates aloneness forever. Even in those times when we move towards solitude, we have the certainty of knowing we’re not alone. When the day seems long or the rooms of an empty house are quiet, still we are not alone. In the crowd of people of which we can only superficially relate, He is there with us. In the most intimate of our relationships when our loved ones rejection pierces our hearts, He never pierces us with His withdrawal. Even in the places where we run from our own selves, He is striding beside us guiding us back to constant companionship. He is there on the mountain as well as on the valley floor. He walks with us on the ocean’s shore and rest with us under the shade of the summer’s trees. Jesus is everywhere and anywhere never to leave us alone!
Understanding the difference between loneliness and aloneness is so important because we realize that in Jesus there can never be aloneness. In this we can begin to understand that loneliness is only temporary. Though seasons of loneliness may linger, they are short lived when we cling to the ever-present Jesus. Jesus is the first place where real loneliness begins to flee. As we draw near to the presence of Jesus, we find companionship defined and displayed in the only way we can understand real love and real relationship. So when hurt, fatigued and even anger lead to our withdrawal, it is no real withdrawal at all, but an out and out sprint looking for companionship with Jesus, the one who will always be with us all the way till never-ending!
Jesus, how I long to fellowship more deeply with you! I want to sense keenly what I know to be true,
which is your ever-present love with me and for me. Help me Jesus in my
loneliness to know that I am never alone, but that you are always with me. Cause my isolation to flee so that I may know
love and give love more freely. Assure
me of your companionship so that I may love others with fearlessness. May I
bring you glory by the way I lovingly engage the places I’ve been hurt or
angered so that others may be aware of the ever-present friend we have in you. Jesus, I am not alone! I love you!
Reflect: Think today what it means to know that you never walk alone. In the places of awkwardness, hurt, shame, sorrow and even the places of your heart that have been shut out by others, Jesus walks with you. How can His companionship conquer your loneliness?