Solitary…it’s not a state of being that I like to think about. It implies that you are alone, isolated, without companions.
This state of being – solitary, alone, isolated – is like a dark cloud to me. It weighs on my soul causing me to drag my feet and grasp for love. It reminds me how hard it was moving to a school where I knew no one and was nowhere near my family. I hadn’t even visited Anderson before I moved on campus.
I felt alone in a crowd of people. Isolated. Forsaken by what I knew…
It was a rough year. But in my time of need I dreamed of the cross and Christ’s suffering. He cried, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” (Matthew 27:46)
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?” (Psalm 22:1)
Sometimes, we feel that way. We cry out in anguish “Why have You forsaken me, God!!?”
Why do we say such things? Why do we confront God with our state of being solitary?
The more I think about the years that I felt alone and forsaken (even though I had a loving family and church) the more I think that my soul was begging for God’s presence.
It’s gotten me thinking…
If we were made to glorify God, what happens when we don’t fulfill our calling?
It creates an emptiness inside. An emptiness that, I believe, can only be filled by God’s presence.
There was a book I read (a Christian-fantasy novel) that put forth this idea that without God’s presence, without His breath, we would not be able to function. We would cease to live. We would be solitary.
What would it be like to be forsaken by your Creator? Would there be physical pain? Or just spiritual pain, I wonder?
But, then again, I don’t actually want to know. Even beginning to imagine being forsaken by God makes my soul curl into a fetal position whimpering and begging Him to never let me be without His presence.
See, all that time when I felt alone taught me that I’m never truly alone for He is always with me. And when I feel solitary I am to follow in the Psalmists’ footsteps and glorify Him despite my being or feeling alone.
Psalm 22 doesn’t stop with the questions. It goes on to give glory to God:
“You are holy.” (vs. 3)
“I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You. You who fear the LORD, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, and fear Him, all you offspring of Israel! For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from Him; but when he cried to Him, He heard.” (vs. 22-24)
*Written for Park Place Church of God’s Lenten series