Fear of Loneliness: Part 1

2 Jan

I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5b

The holiday season can be a difficult time for us.  We miss friends and family from whom we are parted–either by distance or death.  We can be lonely, even in the midst of much activity.  I’ve been struggling with loneliness during this time and so I grabbed Elizabeth Elliot’s book about loneliness from my “to be read” pile of books.  Speaking of a man who wrote of his loneliness, she writes:

I wonder if, for a moment or two, he might have felt as I sometimes do:  I will not relinquish this misery, not right now.  God has taken away what I most wanted.  I have a right to feel sorry for myself.  I have been wronged.  I will refuse, for a while at least, any offer of comfort and healing.  don’t speak to me of joy.  You pour salt in my wounds.  Let me lick them for a while.

I’ve been there the last few days.  Wallowing in self-pity like a hog in the mud.  But the power of the cross is not freedom from suffering, it is the transformation of suffering.  Yes, I miss my parents, brothers and sisters, children, and grand-children, but Jesus has called me to a place of transformation:  the cross.  That place where I set aside my own will and choose His will as my own.  Sometimes that is not an easy thing to do.  It means looking up from my own loneliness and taking Christ’s hand that is offered to me.

I looked up the word “leave” in the dictionary and it set my heart to pounding.  It is raphah in the Hebrew and it means that He will never become feeble, will never fail, will never weaken, will never go, will never forsake us, will never relax or let us drop OR become disheartened.  I wrote about this word  in its opposite sense just the other day:  “Be still and know that I am God.”  We can relax because we know HE NEVER WILL.

Forsake, or azab, means leave, abandon, or neglect.  I’ve felt neglected lately and it’s my own fault.  I’ve been looking at my own self and not to Him who is forever there.  I can just hear my mother saying, “Stop navel gazing, Susie.”  She’s right.

2 Responses to “Fear of Loneliness: Part 1”

  1. Rebecca January 2, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    I kind of felt like this even amongst my family and friends. I realize that we remain thirsty whether we have it or we don’t. Our expectations is really only fullfilled in Him. Thanks so much for this website. I have truly enjoyed getting these in my emails….
    The only thing that ever really comforts me in the midst of loneliness is thinking about our savior and how alone he often felt amongst his own creation. Nobody understood nor do we often understand… He is able to identify with us in everything and this is our greatest comfort!

    • susanjean January 3, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

      That’s the truth, isn’t it? Imagine the loneliness that Jesus felt being misunderstood and attacked by His own creation. Another way that we can identify with Him and seek the same solace He sought: communion with the Trinity.

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