emptiness claims our hearts, and sadness seeps into our souls. And what does our mind cling to? Our own emptiness, sadness and alone-ness. Our spirit withers and thirsts after an unquenchable need for companionship, touch, and laughter.
Ever feel lonely? No matter how many people who surround you on a Sunday morning? You feel left out of something--something intangible. You aren't unhappy with your life; you just feel lonely and alone. If you try to describe what you are going through, no one understands. When my husband resigned his church in Kentucky and we moved to Oklahoma, I felt this loneliness. Even though I was thrilled to be with my family, there was something missing. I missed the fellowship of friends. I missed the familiarity of routine, of places I frequented.
I've also had times of extreme loneliness when I am attacked by someone for reasons I cannot understand. I search my mind for words and conversations I've had. I retrace my steps and consider everything I've done. When I come up with no answers, I feel very alone. I want to reconcile and restore a relationship but do not know where to start. A slight, an outright betrayal. There are times in life we all find ourselves suffering, filled with sorrow for a situation we cannot change. God understands this. Jesus understands it.
"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed him not." Isaiah 53:3
Can you imagine having been fully in the presence of God Himself, without a single person to interrupt your time with Him? Can you comprehend sitting at your father's feet, sharing joy and dancing in perfect union, with total harmony? It's hard to grasp, but I can imagine how great it would be. It's what I long for. It's during my lonely times I am reminded of how much Jesus gave up to come to earth to provide me an eternal presence with Him. I am reminded how very lonely He was among men. Who could He possibly turn to for understanding? Who on earth could be the friend He needed to share the future that lay ahead? Who could befriend Him, could listen and empathize? Who could hear Him, and shoulder His burdens? Who could relate to the joys of His past--the freedom from flesh, the comfort of perfection? Who could possibly relate to the relationship He had with His Father in heaven? Who could endure the ridicule and harassment he endured, and live with it, without a friend on earth to turn to for encouragement? Who could He trust with His heart? I dare say, no one.
I believe loneliness is part of the reason Jesus spent so much time with the Father in prayer. He needed His strength, His empowerment, His companionship. He sought it early...every morning. Why? Because there is no other companionship on earth which could ever equal that of the Creator's. None. No other relationship gives us enough of what we need to fill the void within us.
Loneliness has no standards or fundamental rules. When one is lonely, he longs for companionship. Sometimes I think I need a person to talk to, to email, to call, to have lunch with. Other times I need more. Whenever I feel this great loneliness seep into my heart, I am certain of one thing--I need Jesus. Only He can fill my empty spaces. Sometimes He brings me a friend to talk to. Sometimes He gives me extra attention from my husband or a family member. But I know it is Jesus who fills this void completely.
© Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2010