…Never Alone

 

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Being alone is truly a lonely and helpless place to be.  I have been alone many times in my life and the funny thing is that loneliness can be found anywhere, to be honest with ya.  I mean, you could be in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Times Square in New York City or out adrift in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, far away from any hint civilization.  I found that out to be so true in my own life.  I was haunted by this overwhelming sense of loneliness.  The enemy of my soul had whispered this to me from a tender young age and he actually tricked me enough to get me to believe it.

Jeremiah 29:11 is a popular verse in the Bible for many and duh, who wouldn’t love that promise from God for all of us.  It says this:

10-11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  (The Message)

The more popular translation is in what the NIV says:

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

I do not believe that verse 11 is at all complete without first reading verse 10.  It happened in the life of Joseph, Moses, David, Esther, Ruth, I mean where do you not find this life-cycle presenting itself?  God will take you, then He will allow you to be crushed (some more than others :)) and humbled to your core, so that in the end He can then make you that vessel that He can then carry Himself to others through you. He wants you to know that He alone is God and that only He and it only He who can save you and that He alone is truly in charge.

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Four-horned altar discovered in the Judean hills

Why were the Jews of the Southern Kingdom overtaken by the Babylonians anyway? Well, quite simply because they had chosen to live in disobedience to God.  Among other things, they had gone off to serve other idols and had erected many places to worship Baal and set up high places of worship to these false gods all over the land. Sooner or later God will get tired and He will allow us to fall victim to our vices. Looking back now, I can clearly see how He knew what was best for me all along.  I wandered alone into this vast emptiness and left Him behind or so I thought. Yet even when I denied Him as I did last year, even after becoming this awful version of me, He never once turned away.  It’s like nothing that I have ever known or experienced in all of my 46 years on this earth.  This God, my God, how can you love me so?  I truly have been an enemy to you and I have destroyed so many by my actions. How can you still want me?

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This was me back in early 2013 and even though I was in NYC, I was still struggling with feelings of inadequacy and loneliness.

Then He says to me, “Paul, my son, as soon as I have accomplished my work in drawing you, by allowing you to get to the end of yourself.  After allowing you to fall off of a cliff and breaking your neck and back, witnessing My Delivering Hand in rescuing you from certain death and then watching  me restore your health by bringing in one who was exactly like you, a person who had wandered far from my grace and all-consuming love.

Paul, a person like you, broken and helpless, lonely and somehow someone who thought that I had, in some way, forgotten her too as you so thought.  My plan my child had to be carried out in it’s fullness and completeness and not a moment sooner. I had to show you that I am your God, that I am your Father, that I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you.  You are my boy and I know exactly what I am doing, my timing, my plans, my love for you is perfect.  I told you that I would take care of you back when you first believed in me as a child.  I just wanted you to call on my Name and see me move to come to you wherever you might have been.

You see Paul, I know you by name and I never once abandoned you, those moments you felt lonely, those times when you thought that no one cared about you.  I was there, I wanted to hold you but you couldn’t do that.  You were too busy trying to find your own way.  But tell me son, how could you see anything when you were living in such profound darkness?  Yet I stood there right next to you, shielding you from the arrows of the enemy who wanted to destroy your very soul.  Mercy said no, he is mine and he will call out to me, you’ll soon see.  Oh Paul, you have no idea what I have planned for you and Maritza.  The two of you are going to be my ambassadors to this lost and dying world.  I am going to do an amazing work in you and I will complete in both of you the work that I began years ago.  You will soon see.”

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This God of the Ages spoke into my life in an undeniable and unforgettable way and I am truly changed because of it.  Lonely no more, I never was.  I realize now that the silence was His way of drawing me closer to Him.  Some of us need to lose ourselves in order to be found in Him.  I knew that or at least I thought I did but did I???  Really??  I am ashamed to say that I did not really get it although I heard about it and heard about it a lot.  More than most, I should say.  Yet there He was and He reminded me that He followed me through hell itself in order to show me that I never once ever walked alone.  As the old 70’s Christian song reminds me, He Was There All The Time.

I will leave you today with the words from this song of my youth:

He Was There All The Time

Time after time I went searching for peace in some void.
I was trying to blame
All my ills on this world I was in.
Surface relationships used me ’til I was done in.
And all of the while someone was begging
To free me from sin.

He was there all the time
He was there all the time
Waiting patiently in line
He was there all the time.

Never again Will I look for a fake rainbow’s end.
Now that I have the answer
My life is just starting to rhyme.
Sharing each new day with Him
Is a cup of fresh wine.
And oh what I missed, He’s been waiting right there all the time.

He was there all the time
He was there all the time
Waiting patiently in line
He was there all the time.

(Words and music by Gary S. Paxton)

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2 thoughts on “…Never Alone

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