Monday, October 15, 2007

In the year and a half I have lived in Tulsa, two of my friends have left our staff to go and serve in full time missions. Both have gone to lands where it is illegal to share the gospel. I can tell you that I miss them a great deal.

One of the battles that missionaries fight, no matter where they serve, is loneliness. It is amazing how one can be completely surrounded by others, and yet be desperately lonely. There is a sense of abandonment that many fight. It is more psychological than actual, but it is a significant battle nonetheless.

In their hearts, they know they have not actually been "left behind." The lack of closeness or intimacy with another or others, to whom they love and enjoy, brings about a sense that others do not care. While nothing could be further from the truth, it is very real to those who are dealing with it.

One truly must learn to rely upon the Lord to endure this time.

Comfort can be found in His Word and by His encouragement. Too often, it is easier to believe what you know is not true.

Loneliness plagues many across our land. It is not reserved for missionaries abroad. In fact, many who are so very lonely here in the USA seek out ways to be connected. Too many of these 'connections' are thresholds to sinfulness.

Loneliness will drive us to places we should not be because we want to be gratified. We want to be recognized by another, and so we act out or reach out or embrace things in the moment that we would not normally consider.

If we do not learn to be disciplined when we are young, we will abandon discipline when we need it most, to have validation for at least a moment.

Many who visit church regularly are lonely inside. They are wondering why no one notices. Why doesn't anyone reach out? Why are they ignored by the very people they believe can bring them relief? Their minds are filled with untruths like, "if God doesn't care enough to send someone to help me here in church, then I guess He doesn't care at all." Their next steps will be out on their own, to embrace something or someone that will bring them to fulfillment in the moment.

Meanwhile, many of us are being extremely superficial with as many people as we can while we passing by them in the halls of our Father's house.

Something God called me to when I was fearful of His calling me at all, may provide a bit of encouragement to us at this point.

I was being asked to chaperon a high school ski trip many years ago. I argued with God over it. I told Him I did not know how to talk to 100 students at one time. What He told me has become the focus of each ministry opportunity He brings. He said, "I don't need you to talk to 100 students at once, I need you to invest in one student at a time."

As I began to do this, I found that if I shut the rest of the world out while talking to one student, they would notice that I was actually listening, and begin to open up. Sometimes they would try to shock me at first to see if I was really invested. Other times the flood gates would release pent up monologue they had been waiting a lifetime to dump on someones doorstep.

There will be competition for your attention. You must learn to say 'no' to those other things or people in those moments. You can make a difference in the life of one lonely person at a time. Please don't hesitate. Even if your afraid, do it.

It is amazing how 'reaching out' allows you to feel less lonely, yourself. Try it. God wants you to be His 'tool.'

We can bring hope to one life at a time!



At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, and God Bless
Greenfield, Indiana

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Jacktopher Meils said...

I have a bunch of AIM conversations too if you want me to put all those on a CD and send them to you. And if you want, I can give you all of our lyrics if you don't already have them in his journals

At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks dad for speaking the truth. I struggle with feeling this way a lot. It is a trick of satan to get us fear what we long for the most: love and community. Teboe

At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree so much with this, so many times it is easy to become lonely if we fail to realize that we, as christians, have Christ with us at all times. You guys have helped too ;) !!! Love you guys so much!
Following Him,

At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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