Have you ever experienced loneliness at a party, or when family and friends are near? Have you ever felt that life isn’t worth living because of an emptiness inside that leads to despair and sometimes thoughts of suicide?
Loneliness and feeling blue is so prevalent today. Millions of people are popping tranquilizers and anti depressants because they can’t cope with the “anything goes” fast world we live in. Drinking and drugs are rampant in this generation because something important is missing in the lives of most of us.
We remain in our own little world fearing contact with other people who might need our help or challenge us to change our way of thinking. We hide from our thoughts by blasting our radios and using our electronic gods – the computer and cell phones night and day. We scream and holler at sports events and rock concerts. We worship sports and entertainment and we seek these gods for solace. Billons of dollars is spent on entertainment and many people think that gambling and the lottery will bring them happiness and fulfillment.
All of these things drown out the loneliness, despair and anxiety we are feeling deep inside, but it is only a temporary fix. We think money and sex will end our misery. We tend to surround ourselves with people who have similar feelings so that our behavior is always excused and we feel comfortable with them and the status quo. And, most importantly, we look for answers to life in all the wrong places – the occult, psychics and New Age thought.
We can know the answers of why we are here – what comes after death – the truth about our existence and our future but only from God. When we look for things that will leave God out of the picture, Satan will be glad to help us find it. He will take us down a road that leads to destruction. However, God is a God of second chances and He is waiting patiently for us to seek Him.
We are irritated when people try to cram the Bible down our throats and tell us to seek God because that means surrender to some higher being, and we want proof that He exists. We will try anything that will keep us from surrender, but our soul longs for something we can’t express because we don’t take the time for quiet contemplation.
What would truly help us is to take our example from Jesus in the garden. He sought a quiet place, a place where He could be alone to think, pray and be with the Father. He wanted to gather courage because He would soon take on all of the demonic forces of the world and die for humanity. No one on earth could give him that courage. He had a personal relationship that sustained Him even unto death. He was alone but not lonely. He prayed and while in agony, sweating blood from every pore, He felt the weight of the sin of humankind, yet He gave up His life freely for us. Fear, grief and torment didn’t stop Him from doing the will of the Father.
We can have an understanding of life itself and a courage to pull through and be sustained whenever life’s tragedies strike. We won’t need pills or drink if we know Jesus. Everyone, whether they know it or not, has a deep longing for God. Sometimes when we finally meet Him it is through a Gethsemane-like occurrence.
It happens when we lie in a hospital room contemplating our fate or that of a loved one – when we are out of work and don’t know how we are going to feed our children – or when we have an illness that puts us in a wheelchair for the rest of our lives. The pain we experience is severe. It is like the suffering that Jesus experienced in the garden, but His was an exquisite agony - a perfect and beautiful suffering. There is nothing greater than laying down one’s life for another. It is sweet and complete and, if we accept what He did, it gives us the chance to share eternity with Him.
Throughout the circumstances in our lives, God is pleading with us to renounce our manmade gods and seek Him – the giver of life – the lover of our soul. Money and pleasures won’t fill up the empty hole that only God can fill. We find it is true when we lose something precious and despair fills our life. In the midst of that sorrow, God would bring joy and comfort and refresh our spirit.
Throughout our lives Jesus bids us to come to Him. He opens His arms and asks us to trust Him. O Taste and See that the Lord is Good. (Psalm 34:8). Many will believe but will never look for the suffering savior. Others will want a deeper communion with Him because in the midst of their pain and suffering, they experienced His love. When we taste and see His love, comfort, understanding and concern for us, we will long for His presence and our lives will be radically changed forever. When our desperate needs and longings are filled with the Glory of the Lord, we, too, may ask for a Taste of Gethsemane.