|photo courtesy of Patty Jansen via pixabay.com|
Please understand I have a decades-long history of loneliness. I was lonely in my family growing up. I was lonely in crowds. I was lonely in relationships. I was lonely in two marriages before my husbands left. I was lonely in workplaces. I was lonely wherever I went. I was lonely whatever I was doing. I always felt distant. I always felt alone. Loneliness was glued to my side. Loneliness was in my marrow. Loneliness ruled in my heart. I looked for anything and everything – and most importantly anyone – that would take away my loneliness. But loneliness would not leave me. Loneliness didn’t want to leave me alone. How ironic.
Then one day loneliness had to go. It got evicted from my heart. It got kicked out of my life. Because loneliness realized the room it used to occupy took up a new resident. The Spirit of God. And a deeply personal, deeply intimate, deeply reverent relationship with God. I wish I could say that loneliness left me when I first became a believer in Jesus. But it did not. I wish I could say loneliness packed its bags and moved out when some years later I started studying the Bible. But this is not true.
So when did loneliness realize it had to go? When I threw myself into the arms of the Lord and learned to love Him daily, to seek Him daily, to pour out my heart to Him daily, to pray to Him daily, to study His Word daily, to day by day make the changes in my life He has wanted me to make, to spend time with Him daily, to thank Him daily, to serve Him daily, to do my best to obey Him daily, to listen for His voice daily, to do my best to remember to humble myself daily, to die daily to myself that Jesus Christ might live in and through me. Yes, daily. Daily, I have a breathtakingly beautiful, desperately real, amazingly awesome, totally genuine, honest, tangible, God-fearing, God-honoring, God-respecting, God-reverencing, God-humbling, God-loving, relationship with the Lord.
No relationship I have had with a human being has ever come close to the relationship I have with my Father in heaven. How could I possibly be lonely with a relationship like this? How could I possibly be lonely when my heart is consumed with the Lord?
When Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden of Eden because of their sin, and the curse ending in death came upon them, their greatest loss was not all the luxuries of living in the glorious Garden of Eden. Their greatest loss was they could no longer have fellowship with the Lord because of their sin. God could not look upon their sin, nor can He look upon ours. When God sent Jesus Christ to the cross to pay the penalty for ours sins by bearing His wrath for all our wrongdoing, He did so in order that through our repentance and faith in Jesus we could be forgiven and restored to fellowship with God both now and forever rather than be separated from God on earth and forever in hell. God wants to restore us to Himself. He wants us in fellowship with Him. He wants us to believe in Jesus, to study His Word, and to walk in His ways so that we can be His sons and daughters He created us to be.
I am not lonely today because I rejoice over the greatest relationship I have ever had – my 24-7 relationship with the Lord.