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Sunday, January 31, 2016

God Doesn't Leave Us Alone


One of the most difficult emotions in divorce is that of loneliness, a feeling experienced by many, including those who have been widowed or orphaned especially.  Over the years, there have been a lot of songs whose theme is loneliness and the heartache of breakups.  

One of the major themes of the existentialist writers such as Sarte or Camus is the ultimate aloneness of humans, culminating with the view that the most profound experience of being alone is at the moment of death, which each person faces individually and on their own.  I don’t suppose there isn’t a person alive who hasn’t felt lonely at one time or another in life, the longing for someone to talk with, for someone to hug.  Sometimes that loneliness has to do with the presence of a companion, but sometimes one can feel alone while surrounded by people who love you, because sometimes a silent wall encloses emotions and thoughts too deep for words.  It is a powerful emotion.

One of the things that has struck me in scripture, time and again, has been the presence throughout of certain themes God addresses time and again.  The experience of humans feeling alone is one of those themes.  It first is mentioned in the creation story, when God’s observation after creating Adam was that it is not good for man to be alone, followed by the creation of Eve.   It is the topic of some of Jesus’s last words on earth, when he promised in Matthew 28, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  And it arises everywhere in between, with such great people of faith as Jacob/Israel, Moses, Joshua, Elijah and more.  

Have you ever asked yourself why?

Isn’t it interesting that long before the existentialists first voiced their concerns, God had already acknowledged and addressed those very feelings centuries before?  The existentialists certainly struck a common nerve with their focus on the sense of feeling alone.  However, many of them never found that feeling alone is not the end of the story, because the solution was provided aeons ago.  The ultimate cry of loneliness is the cry for companionship of the soul with the only One who is faithful and near forever, the cry for God.  Like so many of the basic needs of humanity, God answers the need of the human heart by giving himself.  

Time and again God’s promise of scripture is that he will go with us, that he is near, that he will not fail or forsake us, that he will dwell with us and in us, and that his presence shall give us rest.

Whenever you experience that feeling of loneliness, and your heart cries out for intimate companionship with one you can trust to stand with you in your hour of deepest need, don’t miss the answer to that heart cry by looking to the wrong source for your answer.  Family can be the blessing that gives us roots and foundation for our lives.  Friendships are one of the truly special joys of life.  A loving relationship with the opposite sex is wonderful.  But the real fulfillment of the heart’s longing for deepest relationship is met only in Christ.  Let those moments of loneliness be the reminder that God beckons you to meet your true need for companionship by your relationship with him.  God NEVER leaves you “alone.”

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