Thursday, September 2, 2010
Times of Loneliness
My thoughts have been stirred this morning with the realization that so many of the people I come into contact with on a daily basis feel very alone. The feeling of loneliness can be unsettling, frustrating, painful, intensely emotion and frightening.
Most frequently, we hear descriptions of this feeling from expectant parents and waiting adoptive families....the young birth mothers or birth fathers who would desperately like to find themselves in a different situation - but find themselves looking at adoption as the way to provide what they hope and dream for their unborn child or the waiting adoptive parent who feels like they are the only ones who are in the midst of this mysterious "wait" as they long for news that their family has been chosen to raise a child.
I came across an excerpt from a book, Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Elliott, that speaks to this heart-wrenching feeling of loneliness and how to deal with it in any stage or time in our lives. The following are her words:
Be still and know that He is God. When you are lonely, too must stillness is exactly the thing that seems to be laying waste to your soul. Use that stillness to quiet your heart before God. Get to know Him. If He is God, He is still in charge.
Remember that you are not alone. "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:8) Jesus promised his disciples, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 20:20). Never mind if you cannot feel His presence. He is there, never for one moment forgetting you.
Give thanks. In times of my greatest loneliness, I have been lifted up by the promise of 2 Corinthians 4:17-18: "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." This is something to thank God for. This loneliness itself, which seems a weight, will be far out-weighed by glory.
Refuse self-pity. Refuse is absolutely. It is a deadly thing with power to destroy you. Turn your thoughts to Christ who has already carried your griefs and sorrows.
Accept your loneliness. It is one stage, and only one stage on a journey that brings you to God. It will not always last.
Offer up your loneliness to God, as the little boy offered to Jesus his five loaves and two fishes. God can transform it for the good of others.
Do something for someone else. No matter who or where you are, there is something you can do, somebody who needs you. Pray that you may be an instrument of God's peace, that where there is loneliness you may bring joy.
Dear friends, He will carry you if you rest in His arms and allow Him to draw you closer. ~Deanne