It’s not very truthful.
In fact it’s not truthful at all.
I call it “The Loneliest Journey” but it’s not. This journey that I am on with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma may at times seem lonely but in actual fact, I am never alone. The people around me are great but they can’t be there all the time. My kids and extended family are praying me and supporting me but try as they might they cannot real understand fully what I am going through. My wife, Lisa, is simply amazing. She is doing everything possible to help me through it all but even she cannot always be with me.
But someone else is.
This time of the year reminds us of that fact. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14. Immanuel is translated “God with us.” Not over us. Not ignoring us. Not watching us from a distance. With us.
Pastor Dave Wicks recently spoke on this. Then he brought up that most difficult of questions people often ask. If God is with us, how can He allow all these bad things to happen? Pastor Dave replied with some rhetorical questions. Did He allow us, (you and me) to sin today? Did He allow us to have a bad attitude, to think bad thoughts, to do wrong things? Free will is a wonderful and terrible gift and it has wonderful and terrible consequences.
Not the least of these consequences is that death and disease entered into the world. The world as God created it was changed by the sin that followed humankind’s free will. Nature was disrupted and corrupted, becoming dangerous and deadly. All of us were affected. Hebrews 9:27 confirms that “man is destined to die”. It will come to all of unless God returns.
But that is not the end of the story, nor the end of God’s interaction with us He did not create us, give us free will, and then depart. He remains here. He remains with us!
This was the other thing Pastor Dave emphasized. God is not just with you. He is not just with me. He is with US. This is vitally important. It means that to truly and fully experience God’s power and His presence, we need to be in community. We can and do feel Him with us no matter what the situation or circumstance, but we miss the full nuance and scope of His glory when we fail to seek Him in fellowship with others. It is worth the effort.
He is with us. “The Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6 And if we fully grasp how much He is truly with us all, together in community, we will remember that others walk with us on this journey.
It may seem lonely.
But we are never alone.