I've been thinking about loneliness...

PLAYING ON THE PLAYGROUND ALONE - AGAIN

I've been wondering -
Is everyone else attending a birthday party that I have not been invited to?
Is there a fabulous parade going on somewhere that I am missing?
Could the circus be in town?
Where is everyone?

Sometimes loneliness overwhelms and a good metaphor to describe how it feels is a playground with only one child on it - me! It is painful to work hard to surround yourself with people you have given to, encouraged, supported, rooted for - only to find yourself in a predicament where you are more lonely than ever before.

Where is the encouragement for the heart during times like this?

My heart has been touched by a passage of Scripture that jumped out to me during a sermon I heard recently. It is found in John 7:38&39 which says, Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, "Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." Now this Jesus said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

These verses explain that anyone who believes (present tense participle) - meaning a continuing act of believing here and now - will only find satisfaction in coming to Jesus, drinking of Him, believing in Him. Rivers will flow out of his or her innermost being and these rivers bring enlightenment, joy, and power.

Proverbs 21:1 adds, The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He will. This means God even controls the heart of a king and he can channel the water to flow wherever He wishes.

All this adds up to the fact that when I am lonely I must turn my focus inward to the source of life and energy and vitality. I must remember I am weak and that I depend on God for the very sustenance of my life. As He directs the flow of water outward, He is doing so to bless others.

It seems so difficult to get back to this profoundly simple thought. I know I must become empty and depleted to once again be filled up with the fullness of God. Out of the fullness of my heart flow all the thoughts and words and choices of my life.

And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.

- Isaiah 58:11