Friday, May 23, 2008

Who is the one who is lonely?

There are many people who are lonely, so I will share some of my recent musings in the hope that one day someone will read this and be encouraged.

Whether you are Christian or not, whether you believe in God or not, the God of the Bible is deeply concerned about those who are lonely, because He Himself suffered from loneliness and separation from other people while He was alive on the earth.

Hebrews 13:11-14 says (NIV):

"The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come."

It's saying that Jesus suffered outside the city to make holy the people inside the city. He suffered isolation and loneliness that others, whom He was separated from, could be healed. If you ever feel alone and like nobody knows what you're suffering, know that God knows what you feel, and even more, He knows what it feels like because He suffered it Himself. In another famous passage, Matthew 27:46, Jesus says (NIV):

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

So again, Jesus is suffering the pain of separation, but even worse than we humans feel. In Matt 8, it says that "The Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head". He didn't have any place on earth that He could call home, the entire time He was alive and living in this world.

Furthermore, who has ever taken concern over the emotions of God's heart? I know many, many Christians who are glad they have the mercy of God, the love of God, the forgiveness of God, but I know very few Christians who realize how much pain it causes God when we rebel against Him and commit sin. I know many more non-Christians who walk totally oblivious to God and grieve His heart tremendously.

Through the midst of the whole human enterprise, who has ever concerned himself or herself for the pain, the joy, or any of the other emotions that God feels? Many people are encouraged by the goodness of God towards us, but very very few are concerned with how their actions affect God.

Now the reason I say all this isn't to condemn humanity for its callousness towards God. I have no right to do so, because it's a callousness that I long walked in before I discovered God's heart towards me. But why I say this is, God knows what it is to be lonely. He knows what it is to be taken for granted, to be ignored and belittled. Because of this, He has compassion on those who feel like this.

In Hebrews 4:15-16, it says (NIV):

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

The truth is that I wrote most of this for myself. I've been really lonely for the past year or so, because I've been separated from a bunch of cool friends I love after we all graduated from university. But praise God, I can rejoice in the knowledge that God knows what I'm feeling and what I've been going through, and He is the one who will be my help in my time of need.

Even greater is the promise that one day, just as it says above in Hebrews 13:14 that "we are looking for the city that is to come", I will be reunited with all my friends from school forever. No more separation, no more longing, no more ache within. Joy and happiness with many friends for time unbounded. It's the hope I live for, and will one day receive as a gift from the one who loves me and gave His life for me, Jesus my Lord and God. :)

If this post finds its way to you who are lonely, and you don't feel that you have anyone who cares for you, if you're separated from the people who you love, or maybe there isn't even anyone that you have ever been close to, there is yet one who cares about you: Jesus. Cast your cares upon Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Whether you believe in God or not, just ask Him to show you that He cares for you, and I believe He will. I believe this because of what I quoted above in Hebrews 13:11-14. Jesus suffered so that we, the people inside the city, could be healed. That means that the very reason He willingly endured separation from others and loneliness so that He could take away our loneliness, to any who will approach Him. Would He now, after suffering so much, refuse us the very reason that He suffered? He will not. As it says in Hebrews 4:16: "Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." If you ask God for help in your time of need, you can be confident that He will help you. Speaking is free, so why not?

May you find rest for your soul.

1 comment:

Cee Gee said...

What an encouraging post. Thank you.