Slightly Obsessed #096 "Are You Haunted By Loneliness?" by Pamela Thorson on 2015-01-07 10:06:52
“Loneliness is about the scariest thing out there.” – Joss Whedon
“Jesus said to the twelve, ‘You do not want to go away also, do you?’” – John 6:67 NASB
I sat at the back of the church next to my friends, basking in the glow of a beautiful Sunday morning service. The lights were dimmed. At the front of the cavernous sanctuary, the worship team played softly. The pastor prayed over the communion plates before they were passed across the rows of people gathered under this one roof.
As he held up the communion wafer and cup of grape juice, the pastor quoted the familiar charge by Jesus to His disciples on that last fateful Passover: Eat My body. Drink My blood.
I was not alarmed by that command, because I know that Jesus did not really mean for His disciples to be cannibals. He meant that He alone contains all we need for life. He wants us to hunger for Him, to take Him in as seriously as we fill our bellies. In communion we identify with His sacrifice and our redemption.
But two thousand years ago, when Jesus introduced this principle to humanity, this made no sense. His words shocked his disciples. Had they given up their lives to follow a madman? They grumbled among themselves. People walked away.
Suddenly the crowds that had eagerly followed Him hoping for food or healing were gone. Jesus turned to the twelve who were left and asked them if they were going to desert Him, too. His words, piercing as always, reached out beyond their frustration to touch what was left of their faith.
Peter replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.”
Loneliness haunts many of us. The road to eternal life is narrow, often so much that only one at a time can pass over the treacherous waters that threaten to drown our faith. At times, God takes us down a path devoid of companion or explanation. Other times, our stand for the truth leaves us in the dust of the crowd’s discontent.
God knows how we feel. It is in the hour that we comprehend Him the least that we must trust Him the most. When we are misunderstood by others, we can cling to His hand and rejoice in knowing that God promises to strongly support those whose hearts are completely His.
As Jesus stood in the crowd, He must have longed for someone to love Him enough to trust Him—even when His words didn’t make sense. How He must have yearned for them to believe at least in His goodness, if not in His sanity. Today, He still longs to find those who will make the effort to get to know Him, to understand enough of His nature to realize He will never forsake those who love Him. He is perfect. He is wise. He is always here, waiting to fill us again.
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
The sound must have been a maddening echo that haunted him at first, tormented by the rooster’s crow that mocked his empty proclamation of loyalty. For three days, his faith lay in the grave with the Savior’s body, darkened by the memory of his public desertion.
Slightly Obsessed #188: Freedom
He was shouting “Freedom” as he plowed his car at twenty-one miles an hour into the granite monument engraved with the Ten Commandments.
A video posted on the suspect’s Facebook page depicted the man in his car facing the monument as a women’s voice, presumably on a car radio, asked, “Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges?”
Slightly Obsessed #187: He Reigns
Has a more beautiful declaration ever been written? Without that truth, we would have been forever lost to life. But because God had all authority firmly in His grasp, Satan had no chance of wresting the universe from Him. Because God reigns, Jesus could heal sickness, forgive sins, and conquer death. Because God is in control, evil was outwitted. Because He is Lord, there is power behind the words, “It is finished.”
Slightly Obsessed #186: When the Path Ahead Is Fearsome
The room was dark and shadowed, the only sound within its walls the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator beside my son’s bed. I sat on an uncomfortable chair jammed into one corner of the room. In the faint light that fell from the window across the pages of the Bible I held, I tried to corral my stampeding fears long enough to find some comfort from God’s Word. Outside the door of his room, a cacophony of voices from the nurses’ station jarred our shattered nerves.
Slightly Obsessed #185: Clean
They were just turning down the lights in the sanctuary as I awkwardly slid into a seat near the back of the church. I was tired and soiled by the previous week. Life had been especially difficult, and I had not handled the pressure well. I felt completely unhinged spiritually and wholly unworthy to be in God’s presence. The worship team began with one of my favorite songs, and I hoped I didn’t look as vulnerable as I felt.
Slightly Obsessed #184: The Mark of Maturity
The infant finishes his bottle and smiles contentedly up at his mother. A trickle of milk courses down from the corner of his mouth. It’s a sweet scene because that’s what babies do. They are born with immature digestive systems and no teeth. Mother’s milk or formula are necessary for the child to survive and thrive. As they grow, their teeth begin to come in, their digestive abilities mature, and they can tolerate solid food.