~~ Psalm 25:15-16 (NIV) ~~ My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
by Carley Cooper
|Playful Baby Polar Bear Sliding On the Ice|
Free Source Photo. No Copyrights Claimed
Sometimes it seems that no matter how many times I go through an experience; how many times God teaches me a lesson... and sometimes I even pass the test!... I still feel like it’s in one ear and out the other. I wonder if this frustrates God much. Personally, I get irritated when I have to repeat myself over and over to get a point across. My patience level is limited. I seriously can’t imagine how I don’t, sometimes, get on His very last nerve.
Christmas is almost here. I am honestly trying harder than I have in many years to keep a good outlook and to keep my focus away from the fact that I don’t have what others have to celebrate the season with. There are many moments when I can honestly see a possibility that I could have a great Christmas without all that. This is more than I’ve been able to see in past years; so this is a step forward. I am truly thankful for that. This morning, just when I needed it the most; I got advice from three different sources.
First there was an inspirational message from a dear online friend by the name of Ravyna, who gives me so much advice and support when I need it. She said “You are a Princess of the King, the Lord of Lords. He promises to never leave you or forsake you. He is always with you. Always by your side, always there to listen to your needs. Remember, Jesus looks at you and sees a princess, and wants you to rest in him. Blessings.” Honestly, this reminder that Jesus is the answer escaped me at first. I saw it as meaning “as long as I’m lonely it means that I don’t love Jesus enough” or “if I truly love Jesus, I wouldn’t feel any loneliness”. But, I am lonely sometimes. And, some of those times, so much that I can have physical pain throughout my body. During these times, the loneliness not only overwhelms me but so does the guilt. I have overwhelming guilt over the fact that I feel lonely, because I think that it means I’m failing Jesus somewhere. It’s hard for me to remember that these are lies whispered to me by the enemy. That’s the problem with lies, deception and falsehoods... as long as you’re inside them looking out you can’t see that they are not real. It’s only from the outside looking in that you can see the true picture.
Secondly, there was the ever present advice and support of my angel and friend (who I wrote about in an article called “Angels From Heaven”). He told me this morning that “Loneliness is a legitimate feeling. Jesus was surrounded by 12 of his friends most of his ministry and when he went to pray shortly before his death he invited his closest to pray with him. Loneliness is an appropriate feeling to have. Where we get into trouble is how we at times seek to fulfill that need. Jesus is with us all the time but he recognizes that we also need other people. That is why he has given us Christian community.” He finished with “Got to go for lunch. There are some deviled eggs that are waiting for me in the fridge. Have a good one. As the shrink on Mash has said ‘Take my advice. Pull down your pants and slide on the ice.’"
Finally, there was a devotional message by Samantha Reed of Proverbs 31 Ministries called “All By Myself”. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought she took the passage from my own journal. I don’t mean the piece she wrote; but the story she told. It is my story. It is the story of so many people who spend the holidays hurting and lonely. If the holidays are difficult for you, I highly recommend that you read this article. She reminded me, again, that I have to focus on Jesus. He will lead the way to a brighter future.
Even though I am physically alone; and at times that hurts emotionally, mentally and physically; Jesus is always with me. That doesn’t mean that I will have to be totally cool with being single forever and give up on my dreams. It means that I have all the hope that Jesus has to offer that He has a plan for my future that is better than any dream or plan I could come up with. God knows my needs down to the tiniest detail. He created me and He loves me. He can, and will, and does supply all of my needs... and that includes the dreams that He has put on my heart. I am thankful that God has the patience to keep telling me things over and over again; to keep reminding me of lessons that I’ve already learned. Hopefully these reminders, and these people that he has put in my life to help me, will get me through another Christmas season; or at least another day. Though, more realistically; with the way I tend to fall and keep wanting to focus on myself instead of Jesus, it’s more likely to be advice to carry me through the next fifteen minutes. After that God may need to send me more encouragement. But, I know if I need it that I will get it; because He never fails me when I need Him the most.
So, at least for today... who wants to go sliding on the ice with me?
~~ Dear Lord ~~ Help me to keep my eyes focused on Jesus for, I am lonely and afflicted. Thank You for being so patient, merciful and gracious to me. Help my heart to be free from the torment that I seem to be determined to carry with me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.