He talked about our strengths and weaknesses, how Christ is in us, giving us strength to overcome our weaknesses.
He asked us if any of us had ever felt lonely.
This has been the very force I have reckoned with continually over the last two months.
And when I looked around the room, I saw the hands of almost every person raised high.
That sense of being alone...it follows everyone at one time or another.
And then Dean reminded us...Jesus has experienced all that we have, and loneliness, He really understood that. He took it with him to the cross. The ultimate sense of loneliness...completely forsaken but still following the call on his life.
I thought about some of he disciples, the apostle Paul...They experienced loneliness amidst the call on their lives. They experienced persecution and improsonment, shipwrecks and separation.
I can't say I have experienced much of any of that, but I had this revelation in the middle of these thoughts. Jesus knew the most extreme loneliness on earth. He knew it and even in the middle of it, when he felt forsaken, he exhibited the love of the Father. Even in our darkest loneliness, we have that same love of the Father with us, in us, comforting us.
We are not alone. Ever.
The enemy's tactic is to make us feel that we are the only one experiencing it, but the truth is that we are loved by an ever-present, all-loving, ever-encompassing God who isn't without understanding. He has been here too. And he knows loneliness.
So perhaps in our loneliness, that is when he is closest.
I am pressing in to that today.