Almost everyone, I'm sure, has had to deal with loneliness at one point or another in their life.
Though God gave me an awesome family and church family, I had my lonely stint too; going through the usual gamut of thinking everyone else had more friends than I had; I just needed to meet people more like me; and finally, (mark the self-esteem dropping!) that I had problems, I couldn't and didn't 'socialize' the way everyone else seemed to so effortlessly.
So many people struggle, to different degrees, in different ways, but with the same problem--sometimes without even realizing it.
Thanks be to God, I got over that tough 'trough of despair', solely through His help. I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't known that God was real and Christ loved me--really loved me. If I hadn't known--despite how much I felt otherwise--that important as they were, people relationships weren't the main thing in life.
Truly, the great lesson I learnt from that experience was how all-sufficient our relationship with God should be and can be--even though it usually isn't. Sometimes the good gifts of close friends and happy relationships start taking God's place as what fulfills us, how we define our happiness, even our so-called spiritual status. Rather than the other way around.
For me, as for the many others I've heard of, God brought me out from this, helped me to realize what was really, and should really be, important, by taking away all the distractions so I was left with Him alone.
As if I was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by beautiful scenery--floating on a raft. Without it, I would be drowning, no matter how beautiful the scenery around me is.
But I've gotten so engrossed enjoying the seagulls and pink clouds that I've forgotten just how important the raft beneath me is. And I only realize this when all the beautiful scenery disappears, and there is nothing left to distract me.
The seagulls and pink clouds didn't actually disappear in my case; they were still there, only hidden temporarily from me in a mist of my my own making.
I wrote in my journal that God had taught me to know myself better. But most of all, to love and value Him more.
God, by definition, is perfect. We and this world are not. Therefore it is only logical for Christians to believe that ultimate satisfaction, ultimate fulfillment, and ultimate joy, should come from Him.
Steve DeWitt encapsulated this thought so well: " When we wake up to the fact that no relationship can fully satisfy, we realize that we are lonely for God."
There! That was it. I was lonely--I knew that--but what I didn't understand was what actually I was lonely for. I thought better relationships, closer bonds, more friends, were the answer.
In truth, these things are only gifts, reflections of the Giver. They are good, but they can't really satisfy us in the long-term any more than a photo can substitute a person. They can temporarily assuage the ache, the emptiness, the craving we have; like painkillers that temporarily stop the pain, but only for the four-six hours the medicine box can promise. After that, when the painkillers die away, or they're are all gone, we're on our own. Hurting, again.
Our loneliness, needs, and desires are meant to help us--not distract us--realize our loneliness, needs, and desires are for God.
We are lonely for God.
a small voice
Ci thinks some of God's greatest blessings to mankind are