Pastor Blake Cromwell
Have you ever placed a personal ad? Are you looking for something or someone in the pages of your local newspaper? Or are you the individual who calls "Psychic Network" to get the answers to your daily questions? Hoping that your future will bring more to you than the scars of your past.
There are many people in the world today who face loneliness. Many of them feeling that there is no purpose to their lives. We accept others into our lives without thinking about who we can really trust. We are single parents and widows/widowers. Some of us are just cut off from family by the distances between us. But we are all looking for the same thing; to fill a void.
In times of loneliness there are individuals who want to be there for you. They may be friends, or family; but we must be willing to admit our need for them. Paul was humble enough to ask Timothy to come to him, and quickly. He showed his immediate need for the company of another.
When we get into a crisis we need to be wise enough to know who our friends are and who is out to gain from our situation. Paul used good judgment in choosing who Timothy was to bring with him. Paul saw Mark as useful to his ministry. Many times loneliness can cause us to find out who our true friends are or are not.
When facing trials we realize that there are people we really can count on. There are those in our lives who have value and add value to our lives. Paul recognized Mark's sincerity and valued him as a minister even though he had previously failed in mission work. Mark was able to redeem his reputation in Paul's eyes.
Paul was searching for comfort during his imprisonment and turned to the those things he held most dear to his heart. He requested that Timothy bring him his cloak and the books he had left behind. He chose a possession that gave warmth to his body and the word of God that gave warmth to his spirit. When you are alone - read the word. When others are not there God's voice is always there.
The most lonely people in society are bitter people. They haven't set aside the hurts of the past to move on into the victory of their future. God desires for us to learn forgiveness. For some of us forgiveness is a daily chore because we face the one who hurts us daily. And for others it isn't very often that we let offenses get the better of us. When others abandon us the Lord is faithful.
Loneliness can drag us under or it can strengthen us. It can cause us to withraw unto ourselves or tell others how we have been delivered. Paul learned to receive the power of the Lord's nearness when other could not be near. And when Paul felt restored in spirit he was able to preach the gospel that all may hear.
Loneliness doesn't have to be a burden we can not bear. People will come and go in our lives; each one leaving behind something we can learn from.