I Am Alone

Only do not two things unto me: then will I not hide myself from thee.

Withdraw thine hand far from me: and let not thy dread make me afraid.

Then call thou, and I will answer: or let me speak, and answer thou me.  Job 13:20-22

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Is there anything worse than being alone when you need help?  I can barely stand being alone in the dark, let alone real danger or devastation.  And yet, with the right people, the right support, the right presence in your life, you feel like you can do anything, make it through anything.  

Its kind of like exercising alone.  Yes, exercise is pretty much equal to devastation to me.  I used to go to classes with my sisters in law.  We would meet at the gym at 6:00am.  Yup.  And I had two toddlers.  And I actually kind of liked it.  It was a chance to get out, be with people, and get some dreaded exercise out of the way.  I couldn’t quite seem to make it back after my third child.  I’ve walked and run with other people before, because if you have someone to complain with, its semi-bearable.  When I moved, I didn’t know anyone to exercise with and that was pretty bad for my habits.

Now I play badminton a couple of times a week with a group of teachers.  You’ve never seen a lovely group of spiritual baptist women turn into a fierce, sweating, trash-talking group like this before.  And I adore it.  Its the most fun I’ve ever had exercising.

Even though its kind of a silly example, we know that we’re told to do all the hard things with a partner.  Job knew that he was never going to make it through this time in his life if God wasn’t there for him.  So he reached out and asked.  He just needed a little reassurance that God was going to be there for him.

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.  Psalm 16:11

The presence of God brings us joy.  Not only because we’re not alone, but because God is the only one who can bring that joy that passes understanding in the middle of a trial.  When your life is falling apart, you don’t have to.  You can have supernatural joy because of Who stands beside you.  Because of the One who’s in control, directing your steps, leading you down the path of life, even when it seems hard and rocky and steep.  Because of the One we know that is working all things together for our good.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  Psalm 23:4

How do we as Christians say that we can walk right through the shadow of death?  How do we fearlessly enter that valley?  

Only because we do not walk alone.  

Though everyone in our lives may have forsaken us.  Though our whole life has fallen apart.  Though the struggle seems unending.  We are not alone.  It is a unique blessing of following God and keeping the hope in the middle of struggle.  We never have to do it alone.

(This post is an excerpt from the upcoming book, Hope That Outlasts the Ashes - Building and Maintaining Hope from the book of Job.  Coming soon!)