Alone.?

LoneLightsTwo nights ago as I went to speak at an ex-offenders/at-risk gathering I passed by a huge apartment building near our house.

You may be a “humbug” about Christmas, decorations and all, and I won’t judge you for it, but check it out, only one apartment is lit for Christmas in the massive place. Just one, all by itself.

They say you can’t play the blues if you don’t pay your dues- and in my life I experienced the brutality of being truly alone. I wrote, sang and played songs about it and trust me, that came out of a pretty miserable, insecure and addiction-filled lifestyle I lived in those earlier years. I was alone plenty, but in those days I felt the same even when in a room or festival full of people.

But for the past four decades? I am well aware that I lived and live a rather charmed, even spoiled life. Truly.

How? I haven’t really been nor felt truly “alone”, all out on a limb by myself from my 18th year to this very moment (December 2015 as I write).

Please don’t be angry with me! Please put jealousy, envy or attitude against God out of mind as you read these words… because none of that can help you.

See, after I began to follow Jesus, study and work (yes, work) to apply His words (including commandments along with promises) in my choices, relationships (at least from my end of things) and major life decisions I realized I’d been blessed with:

*An endless supply of work to do- mostly alongside/with/for other like-minded people of genuine character, grace and commitment

*I was (am) called to live, play and serve in the context of an intentional Christian community where life is anything but boring, certainly not perfect, but living for nearly 44 years alongside several hundred people

*I’ve a huge list of life-long friends and also get to meet new (to me) people nearly every day

*I CAN choose, and sometimes do, to find a quiet space where I collect my thoughts, study, pray, just chill and look out on the world, a garden, etc., and enjoy trips to parks, the woods and nature

*I share all this with an incredible woman who has faithfully served (and helped/helps me learn how to) God and others -and we were both 19 when we married

*My children and grandchildren choose to hang out with my sweet wife and I daily

Certainly, “your mileage may vary”, that is, you may think some or any of these are not for you or would drive you crazy, stretch you to a miserable degree. Understood.

If you knew the sheer volume of broken, angry, hurting array of people I have encountered all over the world (touring as a musician and speaker all of these years) much less those I interact with in our home/ministry/jails /prisons, etc., you would rightly guess it has not all been fun, a picnic, unlimited desert with a cherry on top!

BUT… I have never felt nor experienced the loneliness so many are plagued with in this fallen world.

Around the holidays many cannot seem to shut the noise of being alone out. Unless I choose to be alone, I rarely am

At the foundation of my life is a Person, that being God Himself.

Make no mistake, we carry on a near continual conversation. I talk, moan, laugh, give thanks, cry out, complain, ask Him to help me, my family, others, on and on. I read His Word daily and really seek to study, not merely speed-read to meet a quota. Relationship. It’s a two-way street.

“There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother”. “I will never leave you or forsake you”. “Look, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”. “God is a very present help in trouble”. “For even your own poets have said ‘In Him we live and move and have our being”.

I quote these from memory and experience- and from long experience I know God tells the truth.

I’m purposely not giving you the references to these and other scriptures that speak to this issue because if you are reading this you likely have access to the internet and either here or in your Bible can (should) do a study of WHY and HOW followers of Jesus Christ are never alone even when they seem to be so.

We are in a season called Advent. Christmas (Christ) is coming. But He is already near and here, even in a season of longing, waiting, anticipating the arrival of the Babe in the manger.

“Emanuel” which means “God WITH us”.

There is a sense in which none of us walks through this world fully alone. There is another equally true that He will not force Himself upon us, for God’s love isn’t about mere force or manipulation.

Alone is a state of mind, not just about geographic distance or closeness. That sense of lost-ness left me many, many years ago due to a lifetime of seeking -and indeed FINDING or put another way, being found by the risen Jesus Christ.

Honestly, I am never alone.

Many years ago I wrote the following, and it still holds true.

Immanuel, Lord of all life
Into the world You came
Darkness met light
Holy, holy, Lord over all
Hear us, near us
God with us now

Immanuel
Immanuel
Immanuel
God with us now

Immanuel, Lord of my life
Into my world You came
Dawn vanquished night
Holy, Holy, King over all
Hear me, near me
God with me now

You really do -not- have to do life alone!! I added both a period and a question mark in the title of this blog for a reason. You may truly be, but you don’t have to continue like that. Call on Him. He goes by the name “Jesus”.

Thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

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