Remember, we are in the Lord’s hands and can trust Him, for He loves us. We must also keep sight of the end goal: that this world will never be our real home as Christians. There is something far greater awaiting us all. (See Romans 8:18 from last time.) You and I must choose to live our lives of faith as strangers in a strange land, and things here are getting stranger for sure. While on this journey here, we are clearly instructed to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) So what does that mean?
It means we are to help our brothers, sisters, and even strangers in our midst as we love practically. It is important to remember that we are not called or created to experience the ups and downs of life alone, and neither is anyone else. (Genesis 2:18ff) (Please do not confuse being single with being alone. That is a conversation for another time.) We are created to participate in the Gospel-Centered Kingdom community of Christ together by loving one another.
We should never seek to isolate ourselves from others for extended periods of time. The discipline of silence and solitude can be a healthy spiritual practice; however, we are not to hide forever from the world and the love of our community. A love that we desperately need. Proverbs teaches us, “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment.” (Proverbs 18:1)
Although I will admit, it is quite tempting to live in a bunker in today’s crazy culture. Yet, since we cannot affect change for the gospel from under whatever mountain we choose to hide, at some point, we must return to the light and live for God by loving Him and others and allowing ourselves to be loved. For many, it is hard to ask for help, but sooner than later, we need others to come alongside us for the rescue. Allow yourself to be known and seek to know others so that you might know what it is to be beloved.
Sometimes, and not by choice, we find ourselves isolated and alone. We can always call out to God in those dark hours, and we should. The psalmist cries, “Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, for I am desolate [lit. lonely] and afflicted.” (Psalm 25:16) Also, “Look on my right hand and see, for there is no one who acknowledges me; refuge has failed me; no one cares for my soul.” (Psalm 142:4). The soul of the psalmist’s desperation is painful to read, especially if you are experiencing deep loneliness and isolation for whatever reason. But you do not need to be alone.
Cry out to our God, for He hears you. He is closer than you could ever imagine, but so are your brothers and sisters of faith. It can be hard to be vulnerable with those around us. We live in a “best self” culture, and when we don’t have it all together, we hide and continue our hypocritical facade day by day. Not getting the help or love we need from a tangible community. Just so you know, an online community has some benefits for sure but is not a replacement for a real community. There I said it! It is like putting a fireplace on your TV. You can see and hear it, but you cannot feel its warmth.
My greatest fear in life, as with many, is loneliness. I am reminded that Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30) As we come to God, we should diligently seek out Christian fellowship and a healthy community where we may cry out to God together. (Acts 2:42-48; Hebrews 10:24-25)
Hey, you and I cannot do the “one another’s” unless we are with one another, and we are to love God and others with zeal, for our God commands it. (Mark 12:30-31; Matthew 22:37-40; John 13:34-35) Since fulfilling the law of Christ is to love one another; let us do so with vigor as we bear one another’s burden as a family. (Galatians 6:2) Loving others and being loved is impossible in a relational vacuum. You are loved. You are family.