TITLE: Alone (November 13, 2015)
By Sally Stap
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
Sometimes life feels heavy and it’s hard to take even one step. We know intellectually that God will carry our burdens, but there's a difference between knowing it in your head and feeling it in your soul. A heart aches with pain, whispering regrets on a solitary drive to the store. It weighs you down, arguing with your sense of self as to whether or not you're ready to get up and put your socks on in the morning. This heavy heart will stay with you, isolating you from the love of others; imprisoning you on an island of pain. Yet, it takes aloneness to feel a truly personal relationship with God.
We reach to God with our scattered minds and shattered hearts. We take each step in life, visualizing Him beside us hidden by the veil of the spiritual realm. If we allow ourselves to be alone, we will find Him. We need to focus on God and not our issues or loneliness. Think about “He is.” He is working in our lives, even as we can’t yet see. He is offering the gift of grace, not because of anything we’ve done – or not done. Even as we find ourselves collapsed on the couch in despair, He is busy on our behalf, lining up people, places, and actions. His grace allows us to find purpose in life beyond ourselves.
I freely admit -- I’m disappointed that I’ve never received an answer via a lightning bolt. However, I find peace by zeroing my mind in on God. Sometimes I repeat a prayerful phrase that distracts my mind. I breathe in to hold my heart together, and exhale visualizing God holding my heart in his hands. I remind myself to be still in mind while moving forward in the journey of life. I acknowledge that I need to wait on the Lord even as I take steps to uncover His answer; rather than follow my compulsive need to make an instant decision. I know He is here, even if I’m not feeling it. God is constant. He is here. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV)
We push forward, despite being afraid of the path, after living our pasts. Trusting even though we have hurt so in life. We learn past behavior predicts future behavior. So we look at how God provided for countless normal and flawed people in the Bible. We recognize Biblical people were just like us. God is supposed to be enough, but we don’t feel complete.
Then, when we finally seem to grasp God’s grace and are walking in time with Him, we’re diverted like a dog chasing a squirrel to attractive things or people. Like a dog who suddenly darts away from his master as if he didn’t exist. Eventually, we return to God, panting with tongues hanging, to apologize, make excuses, and ask for forgiveness. Always, just as the dog owner is miffed, but delighted to see their beloved pet return, our God is right there. “Yes, my child, you are forgiven. Let’s continue our walk.”
As humans, we are often on the cusp of understanding and getting it, but somehow struggle with that last step into a commitment to God. We are ever so close to understanding His grace, but don’t quite understand how to live it. We know He is there, right by us, but we struggle with events that happen in life that hurt. We understand, intellectually, that what we experience prepares us for God’s plan for our lives. Yet we stand, timidly, on the edge of a true relationship because we fear we won’t like the path we are given.
Cusp means a point marking the beginning of change. A point which holds us, glued to a precarious perch, wary of stepping off and into His realm. So here we sit, wondering what the future will bring. We over-think God and his part in our lives. It makes us uncomfortable and awkward. We want to have childlike faith, but question the details. We fear the appearance of hypocrisy in our imperfect lives.
Over time we inadvertently build up a callous disregard preventing us from feeling and hearing God’s voice. This layered callous dulls the gift of discernment we had been given. Once we make a conscious decision to return to God’s fold, it takes time to peel the layers of neglect and selfishness. He doesn’t waver even as we flop around from day to day, moment to moment.
Being alone can be fulfilling. A mother alone for the first time with her baby treasures a unique bond. A newly single person finding joy vacationing alone learns that the world is a beautiful planet. A writer finding words after a drought overflows with prose. A human basking in the love of God feels company. With God in our lives, we are never truly alone. God’s grace is a balm for alone. We make it difficult. He made it simple. Grace.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.