I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.

John 14: 18

 

Isolation, separation, and being alone are states that cause most of us concern. We don’t like to go it on our own even if we put up a front that says to the world, “I am fine, and I have it all handled.” This just isn’t really true, and its lack of sincerity comes about because God didn’t make us to travel through life as individual actors who have everything we need to live well. We were made for relationships with other people, with the rest of creation, and especially for direct engagement with God. This is how the first humans lived as they went about their days in the near perfection of the garden, and God’s desire to be in continual relationship with us is one of the great and miraculous aspects of that account of our beginnings in that He set into motion a fully fleshed out plan for both ongoing engagement with us but also for permanent restoration of the original form of relationship with all of Creation.

 

Yet, life does get in the way. Our own capacity to think, process, and analyze disrupt our peace and calm. We act badly toward others, and they act likewise toward us; so, the bonds of care and affection that once held us together are severed. There may even be a divide and conquer sort of ethos at work in the world at large that seeks to cause people to accentuate our relational pain so that we move away from others when things get challenging and we too easily abandon the person rather than entering into the hard work of processing through the hurts and seeking restoration of the relationship through honest confession and forgiveness. To add to the difficulty that many people have in coming together and staying together with others, most of us have aspects of our personalities that are simply hard for others to handle. So, we move away from those who we have been close to, and this allows room in our hearts and in our minds for this world’s ideas and concepts of love and relating to enter in and to take hold of our thinking. This is also a state of mind and of heart where we often move away from God and out of the counsel of His word of truth.

 

This is where that great and miraculous promise that God made in the garden becomes even more powerful and important. God gave us Himself in the person of Jesus, the Christ, as the final and complete means by which all people could be returned to full and undiminished relationship with God. The powers of this world attempted to disrupt and this restorative work and to destroy the means for its continuation, but they were utterly defeated in this attempt. In Jesus’ statement above we have His reiteration of God’s unending commitment to continue in close engagement with us through all of time and in all circumstances and situations. Jesus may have left this world in the flesh, but He is present in the most real sense possible in the all-knowing, all-seeing, and fully engaged manner that the Spirit dwells with and in us. As we are in Christ, we are never alone in this world. We are fed by His truth, counseled by eternal wisdom, and provided with the companionship of the Great Shepherd. Additionally, we are provided with a family of faith to join in with as we journey through life, and Christ in Spirit and in God’s Word gives to us the tools and perspective to use in working through the conflicts and the challenges of living with other people. None of us are alone in this life when we know Christ. He is with us always and in everything, and Christ desires for us to know His presence, to express its joy, and to remain in the center of His peace throughout our days.

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