Today, I am pleased to welcome my friend, Jacqui Bennett, from Faith and Simplicity to my blog, and she shares about exposing loneliness of life’s trials.
“My Father, there are reasons why I could feel downcast. When I think about some parts of my life it’s hard to pray–even harder to worship in freedom…
…relationships that are difficult…
…dreams and goals that are crumbling…
…old hurts that wound me over and over…
Some parts of me feel cold and wordless…
Is the problem that I’ve buried some things deep inside? Are you patiently calling–through days and months–for me to open up to you at some deeper level?
Today, Father, I trust you to go deeper.”
-Prayer by David Hazard
I read this prayer in a devotional, and I felt it raw — this exposing of my heart. Life has been hard for awhile now. “Difficult relationships, crumbling dreams, old hurts, and a heart that has been feeling cold and wordless.” Ultimately, I feel a loneliness that’s hard to explain, because I have a very full life.
So I’ve been thinking of what it is that makes me feel this way, and I realize it’s God calling — asking me to come away with Him. To recognize all my needs physically, spiritually, emotionally, wrapped up in this One who loves me intimately. He’s here, arm stretched out, hand opened, waiting for me to grasp on this dive into His ocean of beauty and love.
I’ve experienced this ache of loneliness many times in life. Mostly in the heat of trial when really no one can fully relate, no matter how hard others try to understand. And if I’m truthful, sometimes it even feels as though God is cold and distant. His silence echoing in the loneliness.
In these seasons I’ve found myself tempted to fill my days with busyness, because left alone, I feel unsatisfied and discontent. The Word of God seeming tasteless. Restlessness beginning to agitate.
Sometimes it is healthy to “do the next thing,” tearing my eyes off circumstances and emotions, putting my hands to a task that needs finishing. There is wisdom in this.
But often, my busyness is a way to ignore or a way to get through, and when I succumb to it, I’m missing out on God’s purpose — my refinement. I’m preventing my faith from establishing roots that can plow through rocky ground, finding water to quench my thirsty soul.
This is when I know I need to sit. To recognize that the Lord is using this loneliness to call me to Himself. And maybe I have no words to pour out, but if I open my Bible and begin soaking in His Word, there will come a point when I can hear even a whisper.
I am not alone. No, not ever.
Hanging from the cross, in a moment of final testing, abandoned and truly alone, Jesus cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46)
And with His last breath, He made possible a restoration of fellowship between God and all humanity. He took the punishment of sin — complete annihilation from the One who created us — that we might never have to experience such separation
And this is it. We were created to share in this communion with a Holy God. He longs for it even more than we do. And ultimately, all ache of loneliness is an ache for what He always intended. Oneness. Love.
At the death of Jesus, the veil of the temple tore in two, the earth shook and rocks split. Captives were set free. And after three days, He rose from the grave, making access to God complete.
He was forsaken for a moment that we might never be forsaken — that we might know in our trial we are never alone, and the promise of resurrection always remains.
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.