Thursday, 21 March 2013

Journeys in life we are called to do alone


There are things that we have to journey in life that can be very lonely places.  Places where we feel that nobody else understands how we feel.  Places where we hurt, where we struggle, where we question.

For many of us that will look different for each one of us at different times of our lives.  Some of these areas of loneliness are:
Grief - Death of someone close to you
Singleness and wanting to be married
Abuse – sexual, verbal
Our beliefs and standing up for them when no one else understands or believes
Infertility
Wanting children but unable to have them for whatever reason
Relationships
Temptations
Hurt
Fear
Financial ruin
Health & physical issues

These are just some of the areas that come to mind for me and I am sure most of you can relate to an area in some way but there will be other areas as well.

These are places where we cry out to God or to whoever will hear our cry.  Places like Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:10 where in “bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord”.  They are places where in our soul there is a bitterness, or a grief, a struggle, that can overwhelm us and in these places what do we do, where do we go for help?

For many of us we go to our friends and cry out for help but often this can be a place where we feel let down by people.  They don’t seem to understand our pain, our struggle, or for whatever reason they don’t see it.  For Hannah in her pain she wept and cried out to the Lord.  For me I have cried out to people but have learnt that they can only temporarily, if at all, ease my pain and so I have learnt that for complete understanding and a way forward I have had to go to the Lord.
But in learning to take it to him, I find relief, I find rest, I find peace.  Although the situation may not go away, the assurance that God knows my pain, knows my need, knows my desires and that I can trust in him to work things together for good, gives me the strength I need to continue on. 

Some of these journeys in life are very lonely journeys but it is through these times where we find where our strength comes from.  We are not alone.   The Lord knows our pain, understands our struggle and is with us in our time of need.  He is always there even when we can’t feel him, touch him, hear him or see him.

People can try and help and will often say things in this time that are from their heart, words that can help direct us, but when we are in these places often we don’t hear them as we are so downcast and cannot see a way out sometimes.

There are many lonely experiences for people shown throughout the bible that we can relate too in our own experiences; 

Esther was called to be queen and to step forward in a situation that only she could change through courage and a willingness to put her life on the line, even though there were people standing with her in prayer.  She was very alone in stepping forward.

Abraham was called by God to bring Isaac as a sacrifice, a very harrowing journey for any parent but because of his trust in his God, he could walk it.

Job and the loss of everything around him.
Hannah in barrenness
David in the death of a child and the struggles of temptation of sexual sin.
And the list goes on.

All of these stories in the bible give us strength to walk our journey and show us that it is alright to experience the pain and suffering that we sometimes feel, the questionings of why etc.  That we don’t have to have it all together, all of the time.  That as it says in Ecclesiastes, there is a time and season for everything but that everything is made beautiful in its time.
The Bible is full of hope that helps us in our time of need.  In our journey that we feel where no one understands our struggle, we can go to some of these stories and find people that can relate with our experience and the way through that the Lord has brought into their lives which encourage us on in the place we are in.

May the Lord strengthen you with all grace in your journeys in life that are a place of difficulty.