Saturday, June 2, 2007

Feeling Alone

By Rachel Olsen

As we go through life, we all experiences times of feeling lonely. Sometimes we even feel alone in the midst of a large crowd. Are any of these situations familiar to you?

Being the new girl in school.
Being the only one of your friends to not make the team.
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
Being the first of your friends to have babies - and no social life.
Being the only one of your friends not to have babies.
Being new to town, new to the neighborhood, or new to the church.
Having a spouse on the road - or the battle field.
Having a child with disabilities.
Feeling misunderstood.
Feeling different.
Marital Trouble.
Empty Nesting.
Terminal illness.
Death of a loved one.

Loneliness is often a desert-like experience. Our first reaction to feeling alone is usually sadness. Additional reactions may be fear, self-doubt, anger towards God, or full-fledged depression. Loneliness is a dry, barren place no one likes to frequent. Yet many of us find ourselves there repeatedly.

While we have limited control over whether we enter the desert of loneliness, we have much control over our reaction to it. Time spent in the desert alone with God can actually be a season of strengthening and growth.

Author Cindi McMenamin writes in her book When Women Walk Alone: "I wonder, my friend, what would happen if you embraced that Stranger of Aloneness, seeing him not as the Stranger who has come to take something from you, but as the Blesser who has come to bestow on you something wonderful!"

Perhaps we should not be concerned with finding the fastest way out of the desert, but with finding the most rewarding way through it.What can we learn through our times of aloneness?

  • That God is strongest in our lives when we are the weakest (2 Cor. 12:9).
  • That Jesus sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24).
  • Just how Jesus felt (Isa. 53:3).
  • That He will never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5).
  • That God comforts us, and prepares us to comfort others(2 Cor. 1:3-4).
  • That we are becoming perfected and complete (James 1:2-3).
  • That His ways are not always for us to understand (Isa. 55:9), but they can be trusted (Jer. 29:11).
  • That we can be content no matter our current circumstances (Phil. 4:12-13).
The woman who has learned these truths, walking in the heat of the desert with her Lord, will be stronger and more fruitful than the woman who flees the desert each time she feels its dry heat on her cheek.

When you notice the cool breeze of togetherness has faded, do not despair. When you look and find the green grass on which you had been walking is turning to dust and to sand, do not fear. When you feel the heat of the Son intensifying, rejoice. You just may be receiving a great invitation to "Come Higher." Call out to Jesus, He'll be right there. Embrace the lessons and blessings He has for you as you spend time together in your season of aloneness.