Digging in Deeper: Psalm 44:22-23

“Because of you we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. Wake up, Lord! Why are you sleeping? Get up! Don’t reject us forever!” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Think for a minute about the last time you felt God wasn’t there. Think about the time you felt He had abandoned you to your fate, whatever it was. If you are willing, feel for just a moment the emotions of that place again. Think about that time you looked around and were briefly overwhelmed by the brokenness of the world around you. You may not want to sit there long because those emotions were so painful. You may not have to work very hard to feel them because they are so fresh. There are times as we go through life when we can’t escape any of that. Sometimes we witness it from afar, but other times it lands right in our laps. What do we do then? The sons of Korah offer us one way forward here.

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Morning Musing: Proverbs 18:1

“One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires; he rebels against all sound wisdom.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

A few years ago, Southwest Airlines did an ad campaign with the slogan, “Wanna get away?” Each of the commercials featured someone accidentally finding themselves in a horribly embarrassing situation. For example, a delivery man grabs a basketball in a driveway after making his delivery to a house, and with the homeowners both working in the yard and watching him, takes a shot on the goal which misses entirely and instead smashes through their garage window. Then there’s the guy trying to impress a girl with his dance moves who accidentally takes out the whole DJ stand, shutting down the entire club. We have all experienced times when we just wanted to get away from it all and forget about everything going on around us. But if we’re not careful, that getting away can translate into wanting to not be around people at all. Having times of solitude is good, but we need people. This proverb reminds us of why.

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One Is the Loneliest Number

This past Sunday we covered one more load we carry when we try to do life apart from Jesus as we draw near the end of our series, A Heavy Load. This week we talked about the load of loneliness. Life was not meant to be lived alone. We were made for relationships. When we do life without Jesus, though, maintaining those relationships because entirely more difficult than it should be. Read on to find out why and how we can fix this.

One Is the Loneliest Number

Have you ever spent a significant amount of time alone? I don’t mean simply hanging out at home when nobody else is around for a couple of hours. I’m talking about a time when you didn’t have anybody around for an extended period of time. Honestly, Covid subjected a lot of folks to that in ways and times they were neither expecting nor for which they were prepared. And maybe you’re sitting there thinking how much you would like to have an extended amount of time by yourself because you can’t think of the last time you weren’t being constantly bombarded by people, but it’s a different animal wanting something like that because you can’t have it and being stuck alone because you can’t be around people like you want to be. Being alone…isn’t good for us. 

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 15:33-34

“When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which is translated, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What do you do when you feel like God has abandoned you? Where do you go? To whom do you turn? For many folks, when God seems to be absent, they get angry and turn from Him as if that’ll somehow show Him. We might turn hard into some kind of sin like a small child turns to bad behavior to get the attention of parents he feels aren’t giving him enough. We may simply turn to apathy toward Him, convinced that if He doesn’t care, then we won’t either. While all of these reactions are totally understandable, none of them will ultimately accomplish their aim. Pushing away the very person you want to have near doesn’t accomplish anything like what you are trying to achieve. Jesus, hanging and dying on the cross, felt utterly abandoned by God. Theologically, we know that He was. Where He turns offers us a good reminder of where we should turn in our own lives when we are feeling alone.

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Digging in Deeper: Genesis 2:18a

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone.'”‬‬ (CSB – Read was chapter)

Every story starts at a point of peace. Now, in our world, broken as it is by sin, we only rarely start from a place of actual peace, but at the least our stories start from a place of relative peace. Then, something happens that breaks the peace. The rest of the story, then, is about restoring that peace. It’s not just made-up stories that start like this, though, this is the narrative arc of the stories of our lives. Bigger than that, this is the arc of the story of creation. Indeed, all of the stories we write are merely reflections of this larger story.

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