DayBreaks for 3/22/18 – There Was No One There

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DayBreaks for 3/22/18: There Was No One There

From the DayBreaks archive, March 2008:

Have you ever felt absolutely and totally alone?  I am not the kind of person who minds being alone – in fact, I rather enjoy it…most of the time.  But when I worked in high tech, I traveled a lot and there were many times when I’d go to a strange city (or even a strange country) and loneliness would settle over my soul like a shroud.  There are many places where loneliness raises its head and comes to sit next to you.  Once it arrives, it tends to stay.

Some of the loneliest places I’ve been read like a list of places most folks would like to visit: Ireland, Sao Paulo, London, and in America, Mississippi and Alabama.  I don’t know why I felt so alone here in the US, but when you’re in a foreign country (even one like Ireland or England that speaks my native tongue) you can feel desperately alone.  Without my family, my wife, my dogs or friends, loneliness haunts like a spectre.  The more foreign, the greater the haunting.

The story of Gethsemane is one of the most painful stories for me to read in the entire collection of Scripture, and having been there, is even more painful to me.  It appears to be the time of Jesus’ greatest loneliness, with perhaps the exception of the cry of dereliction from the cross itself.  Anticipation of agony is oft times worse than the pain we anticipate.  I wonder if it was that way for Jesus.

In his novel, More Like Not Running Away, Paul Shepherd wrote: “I’d always known, in one place in my throat, how Jesus must have cried in the garden—crying not to die, because there was no fear of death, and not to leave his friends, because he walked alone, and not to suffer, because the blood and bruises and thorns were part of his perfection—but crying because he could not find his Father’s face, because when he would suffer all that he could bear, the pain of every person, living and dead, in that dark moment, there was really nobody there.”

Jesus truly had no peers to swap celestial stories with.  He had no one on the planet who understood what he faced just in a matter of hours.  There was no one else who truly understood the weight of the world’s sin as it came and settled on him like a hot blanket on that Palestinian night.  If ever anyone was in a foreign land, it was Jesus.  If ever anyone found “there was really no one there,” surely it was He.  “We esteemed him smitten by God…” 

For all who have ever felt loneliness, for all who have ever felt that there was “no one there,” take heart in knowing that Jesus has been to that desolate place before you.  And no matter how alone he felt at the moment he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, he soon proclaimed with great confidence: “Into Your hands I commit my spirit!”  In the midst of his massively heavy aloneness, He still had confidence in the Father He knew and loved, and was supremely confident that the Father saw and loved Him and would not ultimately let His Holy One be abandoned. 

Dare we hope for the same assurance?  Absolutely, for His Father is our Father and is unchanging.

PRAYER: Fill our loneliness with the confidence of Jesus that we may, in childlike trust and faith, abandon ourselves into Your hands.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 08/15/12 – Changing Your N to a V

DayBreaks for 08/15/12 – Changing Your N to a V

Lonely…

Have you every been lonely?  I mean, REALLY lonely?  Perhaps it was in a strange town on a business trip.  Maybe it was in a foreign country where you knew no one and no one knew you, where the language and customs may as well have come from Venus.  Perhaps, sadly, it was in your own church, or even worse yet, in your own family.  Loneliness is epidemic.  We are bombarded with constant communication in the form of TV, movies, radio, the Internet, wireless devices such as cell phones and PDA’s that keep us up to date on all that is going on in the world, but we are still lonely.  Why?  Because none of those things really communicate WITH us.  They may communicate information TO us, but that’s different.

Psalm 23:4: “…You are with me…

Often times we are lonely because of something particular in our lives.  It may be a deformity of body, spirit, or mind.  David, the shepherd, wasn’t even among the first wave of brothers brought before Samuel for consideration as the future king of Israel because he was the “youngest son”.  Did you know that the term Jesse used to describe David as “youngest son” is literally “the runt”?  David knew and understood loneliness and rejection.  There must have been many nights as a shepherd, or when he was on the run for his very life from the pursuing Saul, that he sat alone in the cold, wrapped in a cloak, and longed for a friend that could see past his “runtiness”.

He found that friend in God.  “You are with me…” Even when no one else is close.  Even though I cannot see you.  Even though I may not hear you.  Even though I may not feel Your Presence, I know “You are with me…”.

The discovery of David is indeed the message of Scripture – the Lord is with us.  And, since the Lord is near, everything is different.  Everything!

“You may be facing death, but you aren’t facing death alone; the Lord is with you.  You may be facing unemployment, but you aren’t facing unemployment alone; the Lord is with you.  You may be facing marital struggles, but you aren’t facing them alone; the Lord is with you.  You may be facing debt, but you aren’t facing debt alone; the Lord is with you.

“Underline these words: You are not alone.

“Your family may turn against you, but God won’t.  Your friends may betray you, but God won’t.  You may feel alone in the wilderness, but you are not.  He is with you.  And because he is, everything is different.  You are different.

“God changes your ‘n’ into a ‘v’.  You go from lonely to lovely.”  – Max Lucado, Traveling Light

If you are His, you may feel lonely from time to time – it seems to be part of our human condition.  But you have been made lovely and you are precious to Him!

Isaiah 43:4-5 – “4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.  5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you…”.

PRAYER: In our moments of loneliness, Lord, may we hear your heartbeat near us – steady and constant – reassuring us of your presence and unending love..  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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