Saturday, April 21, 2018

Alone but not alone

Photo by feng haha on Unsplash

“Even though at times I felt like an orphan, You, Lord, took me in and cared for me.” My paraphrase of Psalm 27:10 proves something that is only proven in our hearts when we’ve been a spiritual orphan.
Such a thought ought to never pretend a literal reality — being an orphan is possibly the least fortunate, most vulnerable reality. Yet, there are those, like the psalmist, for whom relationships with parents are estranged to that degree of total loss. Actually, it describes crippling, polarising loss.
There is a broader fulcrum of focus: there are times in certain situations where we feel like orphans.
And yet that spiritual malaise is exactly the kind of situation we find God — when we’re completely alone, abandoned by the very one(s) our world pivots around. Not that this sort of meeting of God is anything to rave about! Anything but. Yet, there comes a time when we will sing about it from the rooftops. Only after a genuine and elongated season of lament that seemed so punishing we at times scarcely thought we could hold on let alone survive.
Trust this:
God is good:
If we can say it by trust,
God is good,
even when life’s unjust.
Clinging to the fact of faith that says, ‘God is good, all the time; all the time, God is good’ our Lord shows us He is good, and trustworthy and powerful, and waiting to restore us. He gives us hope and a vision we can hold onto; a vision that defies everything we otherwise see. And in the meantime, God is deepening our awareness of and dependence on Himself.
We, who cannot hold onto anything else, learn that God is so good that He is good enough even in this season of our being alone. So good that He shows up, ultimately, His Presence in our presence. That is precisely the point; it takes barren aloneness to comprehend how real God’s Presence can be.

Perhaps the living God can only be best encountered when we have nothing left. A deeper spiritual journey begins there. Alone, yet far from alone. Alone enough to reach out and up, ‘Lord, help me!’ Then His still, small voice is sensed.

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