Lonliness Has A Purpose Part 1
There’s something about being alone. Something frightening. Maybe it’s because we recognize that aloneness shines a light on weakness. Perhaps it’s the idea that our vulnerability is on display. Certainly, life is full of challenges that we can’t overcome on our own. Whatever the reason, aloneness or even the feeling of aloneness or loneliness can bring fear like nothing else.
Some of this is a natural, reasoned attempt at protection. After all, Satan attacks the strongest when we’re tired and alone. He waited until Eve was alone to show her the forbidden fruit. Cain rose up against Abel when they were alone in the field. When the prophet Elijah hid from his problems in a cave, He asked God to kill him. Why? Because He thought he was the only one left who loved the LORD. Even Jesus was tempted in the wilderness at a time when He was hungry and alone. So why does God allow and even orchestrate this?
Yes, you heard me right! God orchestrates times in our lives that lead us to feel alone. Don’t believe me? The Bible says that the steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD. Go into the Gospels and look. You’ll see that “the Holy Spirit DROVE Jesus into the wilderness” specifically so that He could be tempted. So, once again I ask, why does God allow and even orchestrate this? He does it because it helps us to look, notice, and eventually understand Him and His plan.
To the very core, The Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He moves with matchless power, certainly, but He also moves with grace. He could overpower our flesh. He could make His drawing and wooing so irresistible that we had no choice but to give in but that is not His plan. The Bible says that God chooses to speak in a still, small voice. God could always choose to shout down the Devil. He can also shout over us. But trust me, He won’t.
What He often chooses to do instead is move us into a place where we feel like we’re forgotten or alone. This doesn’t just refer to numbers. I’ve had times when I felt all alone in a room full of people. I’ve been alone in a workplace, packed-out church, family gathering, even the arms of a friend or loved one. This isn’t a reflection on them. It is where I was at the time inside of me. But guess what happened? When faced with loneliness or being alone, I started to search inside as well as out and take inventory. I not only prayed without ceasing, I listened as well. It’s at these times that the still, small voice of the LORD said “Child, I’m still here. I didn’t go anywhere. I haven’t forgotten you. My plans are still active, and I know the plans that I have for you.” God continually teaches us to yearn and to listen for His voice…and sometimes it’s through Loneliness.
Pastor Ed Brewer