Loneliness is a place that God was always meant to inhabit. Life’s distractions may have previously obscured its source or severity from our view. That’s why we are told through scripture that we should rejoice in the testing of our faith. Until our dependencies are tested and are shaken or fall we may not be aware of how much we are relying on things other than God. 1 Peter 1:6-7 states, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Through the last few days, hopefully, those areas have become made known to you. We’ve work to define, identity, and submit these things to God. The purpose is so that we can see what is genuine reliance on God and what is a reliance on God’s gifts instead.
In that way the presence of loneliness can be a blessing; it has made room where there was once none. Where we have been tested the instabilities in our life are made known. Rejoice in this fact! These moments where life’s impermanence is shown, God’s omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience is on full display. We need people, but they can’t be our security. They are a gift of God; they aren’t to be our gods. We have legitimate physical needs, but they can’t be the purpose for which we live our lives.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17
God is so much bigger than the gifts He holds in His hand. He is stable and unchanging. If we listen, within the loneliness we can hear our heart cry for the Giver; for the source of true and lasting security and comfort. The places in which room has been made and those God has revealed the need for clearing away are open invitations to get to know the character of God. Christian author, speaker, and teacher Jen Wilkin put it this way, “the heart cannot love what the mind does not know.” It is for that reason we are routinely urged to increase our knowledge of who God is through the study of the scripture.
“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:17-18
I have been studying the names of God with my 4-year-old son. In reading and talking through the book “I AM – The Names Of God for Little Ones” by Diane Stortz, I have noticed there are so many aspects of God’s character that I myself have failed to get to know. As a side note, if you have a child this book is a great introduction to God’s character. But to the point, knowing Christ is called Rabbi, doesn’t automatically make me put my trust into Him as a teacher. Just as knowing a person is a doctor doesn’t make me put my faith in them to provide medical care. More information is needed. He or she could have an outrageous number of malpractice suits. The person could have had their medical license suspended. He or she might not be a medical doctor at all but rather a doctor of philosophy! Similarly, if I have an awareness that God calls Himself “Jehovah Rophe”, meaning the Lord who Heals, but I haven’t studied through Exodus 15, where that name is referenced. I haven’t gleaned through commentaries and come to know God as The Healer. I have studied through accounts of Christ’ providing physical healing miracles, but I haven’t leaned into that aspect of His character to provide the stability need to believe my emotional ailments. In many ways, if I am completely honest, I hold the belief that full emotional healing isn’t possible and it is up to me to bandage my wounds a limp along as best as possible. The dependency I have placed on many things, other than God, of course, has failed time and time again: it has been isolating and has caused a lot of loneliness. Jehovah Rophe can fill that emptiness and provide the stability I need.
Looking at your own life it is important to see what aspect of God’s character your heart is longing to know or to know in a fuller capacity. You don’t have to be a theologian, read through 6 different translations, and pull out a concordance. You do, however, need to be a student of the Word of God and be submitted the Spirit of God. Open up your Bible and ask God to lead you during your times of prayer and study. Find trusted Bible Study resources and podcasts that can provide a guided study. Furthermore, Google is not sacrilegious; you can utilize it to direct you in the Word towards specific topics. I would suggest if you are newer to a targeted Bible study, to reach out to the accountability partner you set up yesterday. Ask that individual for assistance. They might have previously vetted resources or the ability to work with you to delve directly into Scripture regarding a particular aspect of God’s character. Where space has been left by the absence of security, begin to fill that with security in God.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:13
“Lord, I delight in who You are. You are my all in all. You are my sufficiency. There are boundless facets to Your character and You can be the stability I need in every area of my life. In the areas of loneliness left by the false dependencies, I ask that by Your Spirit, You lead me through Your Word so that I might be filled by You. Thank You for Your faithfulness and Your promise to never turn away those who ask for wisdom. Be my guide as I journey to know Your character and place my security in You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.”