Much of my life growing up wasn’t normal. Part of that is due to being a preacher’s kid. But I just didn’t do things the normal way sometimes. Like how I started my life as an independent adult. Same as many others, but different.
Most kids grow up, maybe head off to live on a college campus, or they get a few friends and rent an apartment together. Me? I fell into a different category. Shortly after I turned 18, my parents moved out.
Yep, you read that right. I didn’t move out, they did. I tell people it took a few months for me to find them. But that’s kind of an exaggeration for humor.
My parents relocated from Dallas back to the east coast for work. And since I wanted to stay in Dallas, they left me in an abandoned house that was on the market. I was left a mattress, a lamp, a folding table and a few kitchen necessities. And if the realtor called, I had to clean up and get out for a showing. It looked like a squatter had taken up residence.
I felt pretty lonely. Isolated most of the time – my family was over 1200 miles away – working 40-50 hours a week – no cell phones back then – no TV – no social life to speak of – 18 years old and on my own. It was me and my books most of the time.
Social distancing was my lifestyle. There were times I felt all alone.
Elijah was a pretty big man in his day. Prayed and stopped the rain – for over 3 years. Brought down fire from heaven and had hundreds of false prophets killed. A powerful man of God. Yet he too felt all alone.
He fled from the wicked queen and thrust himself into solitude – and drove himself to desperation and depression. He felt all alone – even though God obviously was with Him and provided for him.
He thought he was all alone – like nobody else knew what he was going through. And God had a little talk with him. He told him there were hundreds hiding in caves, hundreds who had not bowed down to the false Gods, hundreds who were faithful like him. Elijah wasn’t alone – and God made him aware of this fact. Elijah was alone physically, but God made him aware he was not really alone.
God also made him quite aware that He was always with Elijah. Alone? Not really. God was with Him.
For millennia, many a young man had been on there own. Millions were feeling similar angst, anxiety, and alone. Some were in situations way worse then me. Some were far from family, little support around them, and questions about the future.
And for those that are a child of God, God is always with you too.
Today, we shelter in place. We hide in our little abode. And many out there feel all alone. But you are not. Millions are going through this with you – same anxiety, same fears. You are not alone in this.
So if you are overwhelmed with ‘aloneness’ – call your pastor, write a letter to someone, journal your thoughts. Sing a song about God – out loud. If no other time in modern history, social media has proven itself a true blessing – stay connected.
And most of all, claim the promise of the protection, provision, and presence of God almighty. (Read Psalm 46 and see this)
Alone? Yes … but aware I am never really alone.