“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16)
Loneliness is one of the most difficult aspects of living with chronic illness. Illness so often necessitates isolation, and that is a really hard thing to accept.
As I’ve struggled with isolation this week, this verse keeps echoing in my memory. Jesus sought out lonely places. Other versions of scripture refer to it as “the wilderness.”
I feel like I’m in the wilderness much of the time, don’t you? So why not while we’re there, use the opportunity to grow our relationship with our Father? I want to understand on a gut-level that I am not ever alone. That indeed, I have the best company anyone could ask for. . . an attentive, powerful, loving, and personal God who longs for my company.
And the best way to do that is to do just as Jesus did. Pray. Tell Him my cares. Jabber about what I had for lunch. Ask Him for the desires of my heart. Laugh with Him over the humor of the day before. Hand over my stresses. Sit quietly and listen for His reply and direction.
Meet with Him. Long for Him. Seek Him out.
My loneliest places can become places of revelation and wonder. My bruised and battered heart can be healed and refreshed. Just as I’m sure Jesus experienced.
And I can unlock it all with the key of Prayer.
Prayer: Dear God, I know that You are always waiting for us. Help me to never forget the invitation. Thank You for loving broken and boring me, and wanting to spend time with me. Thank You for never leaving me alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
About the author:
Shelly Hendricks is a wife and mother of 2 amazing kids. She was a teacher and a librarian in another life. She also suffers from Intracranial Hypertension, Interstitial Cystitis, and Essential Tremor. She had brain surgery in 2012 and now considers herself to be a ‘bionic woman’ who is learning to walk again. Disability has been hard to deal with, but she depends on God for all strength and hopes to encourage others on this journey, through her blog at http://reneweddaily.com
In what ways has God invited you to be with Him when you feel lonely?
Shelly thought this song by Meredith Andrews would touch your heart, “Not for a Moment.” It is a moving prayer toward the one who loves you and seeks you out. -Lisa