October 27, 2012

Jesus Understands Your Loneliness

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin."  Hebrews 4:14-16




Jesus understands our loneliness.

  The holidays are slowly approaching and news pieces and other information sources are beginning to tell readers and listeners how to prepare for the holidays. Typical advice says if you are spending the holidays alone, prepare ahead of time. Find something to do with other people; plan a trip with a group; donate time at a soup kitchen on Christmas or Thanksgiving. Don't allow yourself to feel the loneliness of being alone.   Being alone doesn't always equal loneliness. Still, it is good to know Jesus understands our loneliness.

He was a unique person; though He loved those around Him, no one was just like Him. He was alone when He was tempted by Satan after forty days of fasting and prayer in the desert before He began His public ministry. Even as a 12 year old boy, He was alone and apart from His earthly father and His mother when He remained in the Temple to learn from and talk with religious leaders. 

 He was alone when He rose from the dead in the tomb donated by Joseph of Arimathea. Angels announced His resurrection, but no other human person was with Him when He broke through the stones of that tomb and returned to life.  He walked alone on the road to Emmaus when He encountered the followers who were so discouraged by His apparent death.

  Yes, Jesus had friends and followers. He challenged some of the followers who wanted to be with Him only because He provided food when they were hungry, or because they benefited from the miracles He performed.  He was alone when illegally taken into custody to stand before an incompetent, weak-willed judge and a biased crowd determined to see Him die.

  What does all of this mean?  It can be tempting to sin by getting lost in and indulging  in self pity during our times of loneliness.  If we allow Jesus Christ to speak to us in the midst of our loneliness, He has something to say that will soothe our hearts. It means He not only knows about loneliness, He knows loneliness.  He was been where we are, or where we are headed. He is like us, but not identical to us or limited in ways we are limited.   He is close enough to understand, wise enough to teach, and powerful enough to lead and guide. Most of all, He is loving enough to care.

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