Lonliness -- By Jeane Brewer

Have you ever had the feeling of being alone or isolated? Most loneliness results from insulation rather than isolation. Nearly half the population honestly feel that nobody knows them. 

Jesus frequently sought out lonely places for prayer and meditation. Loneliness may be turned to solitude when it is dedicated to a cause, project or God.  When loneliness turns to solitude, its promise is fully experienced. 

Lets see what 2 Timothy 4:16-17 says: "At my first defense no one stood with me but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them but the Lord stood with me and strengthened me."  Paul was imprisoned in Rome, when he wrote this letter to his son in the faith, Timothy.  He knew that his own death was threatening, and he admonished Timothy to keep the faith and to to finish well. 

Paul wanted to finish well. In 2 Timothy 4:7 he says:  "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." What an incredible statement!  Every believer should long for those words to describe him/her. Not everyone finishes well and Paul knew it. Some of these he referred to as troublemakers. You would think all those that Paul led to Christ, some would support him during his time of imprisonment. But Paul was considered an enemy of Judaism, and he faced prison, isolated, alone . 

Paul wasn't the only one.  Joseph must have felt lonely after his brothers threw him into the pit, and Moses must have felt lonely when he led the children of Israel out of Egypt. Then there was David.  Didn't he feel lonely during the years that he was running from Saul?  These experiences provided the backdrop for some of the psalms. Jeremiah and many of the prophets was lonely too. But how do you think these people dealt with loneliness?  Paul was aware of the presence of God, and he said: "but the Lord stood with me and he strengthened me." Paul knew that God stood by him when others didn't. 

Isn't it the same for us?  God will stand by us when nobody else will. Even Jesus was alone as he faced and endured the cross.  He was alone when he cried:  "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"  Jesus knows what loneliness feels like. 

We may not be thrown into the pit by our families, lead a group of squabbling people, or tend sheep on hills, but we still have pits, lonely hills and prisons.  Aren't you glad we belong to One who knows exactly how we feel? 

Jeane Brewer

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