Good afternoon to all. Please stay safe in the snow if you have to go out. Just a reminder that Prayer Service will be tonight at 8:00 pm. The call in number is 1-605-562-8401. Your access code is 670-7270.
It is hard to imagine that we have been in a pandemic for almost two years and it seems as if we will continue to cope with COVID-19 for sometime in the future. We have heard many stories as to how the pandemic has impacted people negatively, individually and corporately. Cabin fever and loneliness have set in on some and has led to depression, anxiety and even suicide. The inability to fellowship and gather in large groups has taken a toll on our psychological well-being.
When I woke up this morning, the word alone came to mind because I began to wonder how persons who live all alone have had to cope with the pandemic and all the other challenges we are facing in society. I began thinking about a dear friend of mine and others who live alone due to the death of their spouses. You see, I do not like being alone for more than a few days, but I thought about those who have spent years alone without complaint. I know that my friend gets lonely and sad from time to time, but what I admire about her is the fact that she has taken a heart broken situation and is making the best of it. I would describe her as being vivacious, enthusiastic, courageous, God fearing and strong. She does not allow or permit consternation to set in. My point in writing this message is to encourage all of us to put forth a concerted effort to press on when trials and tough times come our way.
When I woke up this morning, I had to slap myself for even allowing the thought of being alone to enter my spirit. For when my wife is out of town or I am out of town for a few days I begin to feel alone. I was disappointed in myself for having such thoughts, especially after a neighbor called a few days ago to inform me her husband had died. Even after a few days, she had already described how she felt so alone. My point to her was to erase the word alone from her vocabulary and think about the fond memories. Easier said than done, I know.
Most of us are familiar with the movie, Home Alone, where a child is accidentally left behind by his family during the Christmas holidays. The child does not become disenchanted with his circumstances, rather he takes matters into his own hands. He comforts himself in the midst of trouble. Yes, his situation is very different because he knows that his family is going to return home at some point. Truth be told, he made the best out of a bad situation. We too must learn to make the best out of whatever our trouble, tragedy or disappointment might be.
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: but not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10). The prophet Isaiah talks about God encouraging and reassuring us not to be afraid of whatever situation or circumstance we find ourselves. If we trust in Him, He will in turn give us the strength to cope and overcome. We must remember that God is sovereign and sufficient in meeting all of our needs. We must also remember that God is faithful and is our ever- present help in time of need.
No matter how difficult our season in the wilderness may be, we are all precious in the sight of God. Just knowing that God is working on our behalf is encouraging.
Too often we believers think that we should not feel lonely or have struggles. We all must come to grips with the fact than none of us are exempt. Even King David said, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted” (Psalm 25:16). David knew that he was alone and had no one else to lean on but God. He began to encourage himself in the Lord and that is one thing we must learn to do, encourage ourselves.
Scripture even tells us that Jesus went away to a lonely place to be with the father. Jesus sought out solitude so He could seek the father’s will for his life. We too can go to God the Father and seek his guidance.
I leave you with these three points in overcoming your feeling of loneliness:
- Encourage yourself. It is good to receive encouragement from others, but when we can encourage ourselves, we than know there is hope.
- Seek God when feeling all alone. He will be a companion and friend when no one else is around.
- Be creative and innovative. In periods of loneliness, dream and have visions. Make them become a reality. Do not sit around and have pity parities.
In closing, please know that God will never leave us or forsake us, but He will change us.
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor