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Monday, 10 February 2014

Alone, yet not alone!

It was one of my former pupils who had the words posted on Facebook as a poster (which she had not written).  I have taken the liberty of correcting the various grammatical mistakes!   It reads:

"I've been stabbed in the back by those I needed most;  I've been lied to by those I love; and I have felt alone when I couldn't afford to be.  But at the end of the day I had to learn to be my own best friend, because there are going to be days when no-one is going to be there for me but myself."

I found such words to be very sad, especially as I was reading them just a few hours after the evening fellowship time at Wishaw Baptist Church.  We are seeking to find ways of impacting the local community, and one of the points made was how lonely many people are in our contemporary society.

It has been claimed that two of the greatest problems in our contemporary Western culture are forgiveness, and loneliness.  I may deal with the former in a subsequent post but, in this one, I want to share a few thoughts about loneliness.   Even the Lord Jesus, in His humanity, understood loneliness.  He said to His disciples, as recorded in John 16:32, that "The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to his home, and will leave Me alone ; yet I am not alone, for the Father is with Me."   "... alone; yet ... not alone,"!

Most folk are aware that loneliness is not the same as isolation.  I may be in the middle of a large city - and be completely alone.  Conversely, I may be in the middle of the Sahara desert - and not be alone!  Jesus gave us the clue - "... for the Father is with Me."

As a disciple of Jesus, I believe, firmly, that my Father God is omnipresent.  That simply means that He is everywhere, simultaneously!  It doesn't make logical sense to us - but He is God, and that is enough.

Jesus, Himself, said to His disciples "... lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." (Matt.28:20).   In the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, we find the Psalmist asking "Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?  If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there! If I make my bed in Sheol, Thou art there!  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Thy hand shall lead me,and Thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, "Let only darkness cover me,and the light about me be night," even the darkness is not dark to Thee,the night is bright as the day;for darkness is as light with Thee." (Ps. 139:7-12).

Could this be the real answer to loneliness?  Not depending on myself, but enjoying the constant company of a loving heavenly Father - always, and everywhere!  Of course, He has to be my Father - and that is only possible as I come to the Son, the Lord Jesus, in repentance and faith, and submit myself to Him, as I receive the promised presence of God the Holy Spirit Who will make me more like Jesus.

"Are you lonesome tonight?", as the late Elvis Presley used to sing.  Then I commend my wonderful God to you - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  He will not only assure you of His constant presence, but will also never 'stab you in the back', nor 'lie to you'.

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