Conversations with Mrs. L - Loneliness (Part 2)
Mrs. L was once single, then she was married to Mr. L, then she was single again after Mr. L went to be with the Lord. I asked her concerning loneliness when I was still a young sister in the church. I only wish I would have the opportunity to ask her this question again at a different stage of life so that I would already be married and loneliness would reveal a deeper aspect of being human. But Mrs. L is no longer with us.
I did, however, asked another older sister whom I treasured dearly. Her husband passed away more than a decade ago and she had remained a single sister ever since, still pursuing the Lord, actively running the Christian race, and serving faithfully, ministering to the Lord in the church. I remember she mentioned that she had learned to embrace loneliness like it was another natural process of human life such as aging. She said even if you were married or you had many children, loneliness would still be there to some extent. "It's real, you don't particularly like it. But don't be consumed with it," that was basically my interpretation of her comment. Maybe I misunderstood, but it surely helped me a lot. Instead of lamenting over it, I was encouraged to seek the Lord concerning being alone.
Little did I know that, while I was inquiring the Lord, He revealed Himself in the sweetest, dearest way within me. In His word, I began to understand that the Lord Himself was yearning, longing for a compatible companion.
The first verse in the Bible that addresses alone-ness is Genesis 2:18, "It is not good for man to be alone;..." And this verse is in the context of not only the obvious, which is that man needs a helper, a wife, but also that man has been created in God's image and according to His likeness (Genesis 1:26). This means God Himself is alone and He is seeking for a counterpart, the church (Ephesians 5:31-33; Revelation 21:9).
I started to turn my prayer from "How about me?" to "That's right, Lord. How about You? Forgive me for not knowing Your deep longing for a counterpart. Forgive me for not praying. It is You who have been longing for thousand years."
Interestingly, Mrs. L said the ultimate remedy of our loneliness was the church life. It is God's intention and wonderful design that our human need fits perfectly to His own longing. Christ's longing for the church to be built up, the bride to be prepared, is the exact solution to our deepest loneliness.
The church life isn't just about gatherings and community. It's a group of people who live Christ and together they express Christ as their person. We may encounter many "church life" happenings, but the genuine church life is one of a kind. The genuine church life highlights only Christ.
When God is satisfied in His longing, we are too. After all, we are His reflection, created in His image.