Ideal conditions are the greatest tests of character. There have been several ideal situations in my life, which were either incredibly short lived or completely false. By ideal, I mean without any problems, all according to the desires of your heart, comfortable, idyllic, harmonious, balanced, poised for perfection. It is an incredibly rare place to be. And when everything seems too good to be true, it probably is not, most probably some beautiful fantasy or dream, some temptation or test. Yes, it can be a momentary reward, but most often is not. Some passions must go unanswered. Some desires will not be fulfilled. Some longings of the heart just will never be satisfied. This is how life is. We want, we covet, we desire, we feel, we emote our impassioned cries to the wind and long for transformation. But we long for comfort. We long for peace and safety. We long for perfection. There are enormous holes in our souls that are very tempting to want to fill, with an amazing person, a passion, a desire, a vice, a feel good thing. What that hole is really for is to connect us to the perfect God who made us and longs for connection with us He loves and made. We confuse that. It is abstract and invisible to fill a hole with something intangible, something invisible, something spiritual. We want what we can touch, what we can see, what we enjoy sensing. We move to fast in life to realize that God fills deeper and more lasting than anything else He made. His handiwork is what we sense, what we see, what we hear, what we enjoy and call beautiful and magnificent. He is found wherever we look. Those things we want to fill our soul holes are made by God. The difference between what satisfies permanently and what teases and leaves alone is focus and attention on the Maker of the thing or the thing itself. When we dig a bit Deeper and give God the props and attention rather than the thing, He doesn’t mind giving you what you want on His terms, for His purpose, by His Word. Such is life. But life is best this way in the long run.
Deep moments exist in life in which our journey takes us into the darkness. Sometimes it is a loss of control, a death, an illness, children, spouses, exes, employers, whatever. These moments cause us to feel nothing for a time, sandwiched before and after with pain. Whatever loss or chasm we seemed forced to drop into can be a sticking point, a changing time where we will never be the same once we get out. This change can be for the better or for the worse and it is a very fragile thin line that separates the two. Often it hinges on one decision. Do I trust God through this? Is He enough for me? Or not? And the heart of every epic battle is the decision to face the opponent with truth or arrogance. Right or wrong? And the opponent we fight most is our own pride. Many battles we are fighting are us at war with ourselves, being noncommittal in our hearts about that one question. Is God enough? Do I trust Him with this or myself? Sure our spiritual enemy uses that against us and makes working for ourselves highly alluring, but if you look past his distractions and into the core of your heart, the entirety of the stress of that dark void in battle is that one question. Me or Him? My abilities or the God who made me’s abilities? Which will it be? It is your decision. Every time, every day, every minute, it is your decision. So you have within you the power to be carried out of the chasm by the All Powerful God or wallow in it focused on not all powerful you and bandaid highs and fixes the enemy provides for your distractions and pleasure. And yes, it is really that simple. Choose wisely. Forever is real and might as well start now because you never know when.
I wrote this in a song many years ago: “All alone and on my knees my fear has passed beyond me now. For ever more do I feel bliss when all alone to Him I bow.” This song I believe God gave me as comfort. Sometimes we wonder why God calls us to seasons of loneliness (and the can happen often even in a crowd). Sometimes, it is to capture our attention and penetrate our busyness to reward us with peace when we humbly pray to Him. God is a very jealous God, like a Father who wants His children to not call other men “Daddy”. He wants us to be peaceful and joyful and sustained and know it was from Him. When we are alone and free from distraction, we can place ourselves into an attitude of prayer, looking to God to fill our loneliness with His presence and love. And He does every time! Each time you look to Him for answers and company and love and satisfaction, He will never let you down. Everyone else with skin on will let you down and maybe has, but God never has and never will. Maybe we’ve let Him down a time or two, but He’s never let us down. And if we have let Him down, all we ever need to do is take off our hat of pride and bow our head and He forgives! And if we walk with Him in our lives, we have that One special Person in our lives that cannot lie or go back on His Word or fail us. This is what He longs for. This is also what we long for. Some long for it but do not recognize it or acknowledge it and fail to see it and work hard to fill that longing with things that only temporarily satisfy or distract. Longing and loneliness then become these people’s blankets in time. It doesn’t have to be. All we need is a little time alone with our Heavenly Father and Creator who loves us magnificently and paying more attention to Him than ourselves and pray, which is simply a running conversation with the Amazing One, our God. It is a blessing when God gives you loneliness. He is saying gently that He wants to spend some time with just you right now. So cool!