Have you ever faced something really tough and felt all alone? I guess most of us have. The Apostle Paul did many times. He had ministered to many, many people and yet in a lot of instances he had to face extreme difficulty all alone. We all tend to make excuses for our friends and family, sometimes they even make excuses for themselves, but bottom line…alone is alone. To me, this is one of the most glaring examples of a good reason to stay very close to the Lord on a day to day basis. Devotionally, study time, prayer and even extended prayer time, memorization…all are extremely important to “build up” our inner man in order to handle life’s most difficult times. Particularly if we have to face them alone.
My family suffers from a depressive disorder, nothing needing medication but serious enough to disrupt contentment. It is a miserable “feeling”…I have found memorization to be the best tool I can use. I look for portions of the Word that challenge my memory, but as I have grown older, the challenge has become greater and greater. However, it works…time consuming but worth it, definitely. Part of my teaching at the prison emphasizes the need for meditation and memorization. The act of concentration seems to break the negative hold the problem has on my mind, plus I gain a sense of God’s presence with me that is comforting. One thing I prize, contentment…and when it is missing, I know it!!! And, will do anything to get it back. Living alone makes it more difficult, no noise in the house.
But, back to failure…another thing I have learned over the years, most of God’s great servants have suffered from a sense of aloneness and depression both of which seem to build in us a feeling of failure. I think we that serve the Lord fulltime think we are superpersons! Nothing should get to us, we should be able to handle anything and everything, no exceptions. That in reality, that is way too hi bar to set for ourselves! Then we can add to our own expectations of ourselves the expectations of others. THEY think we are superpersons who can handle anything!!!!! Spiritual giants whose faith can stand up under anything, anything at all!
So, the bottom line becomes what we ourselves hold to be true and realistic. We may indeed have a faith that moves mountains, knowing for sure and from experience that God will always take care of us, is always there for us, our provision is sure. we need human touch, words of encouragement, to have someone tell us we are loved by THEM, and at times, for them to just BE THERE. There are two kinds of friends…runners and standers. At the first sign of trouble, the runners will bolt and abandon you to whatever trouble you are facing. The stander however will stick with you no matter the circumstances. We also need to think about which of these WE are???? Back to the example of Paul…at the end of his life he tells us of the many who deserted him. But, he also tells us of one human who stood…Luke…which must have greatly comforted Paul.
Proverbs tells us that a friend loves at all times. We all need friends we can count on, especially when adversity and aloneness strikes. But equally important, we need to BE that kind of friend. Are you?????