Early in my faith walk, I faced a constant rush of hopelessness that engulfed my soul and made me depressed and depleted. Hopeless, really.
Christians getting trapped in this kind of ISOLATION CELL is more common that most people realize. The tougher life gets, the more we want to retreat and isolate. In fact, isolation is often the default and first response to tests and trials. And with that sense of isolation can come thoughts of being abandoned by God. It’s scary.
For me, being around others when I felt like this was the last thing on my to-do list. But isolating ourselves from the realities of life always darkens the room and never brings light.
OF COURSE IT’S TOUGH!
It’s one tough job to avoid the strong pull to be negative and feel isolated when we encounter life’s trials. Believe me, I know that being defeatist when tribulation comes makes us feel alone and afraid. I spent many years in that painful predicament.
But the most important part of staying out of life’s isolation cell is believing (with a CAPITAL B!) that God knows our circumstances and will walk with us through the challenge. That’s exactly what happened in my case. God taught me that feeling isolated is a predictable part of his plan to show us in the most intimate way possible that he is there and still in control. That he is not going anywhere without us. That we will prevail.
God uses isolation to test our character, capacity to love, and our faith. He uses it to show us that the adversity in our life is there to strengthen us so we can emerge with our faith and our wits attached.
I ask God to help me know without any doubt that he created us for community so we can be encouraged by others when we are feeling down and isolated.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
What is your response when life tries to send you to the isolation cell?
“People who do not get along with others are interested only in themselves; they will disagree with what everyone else knows is right.” Proverbs 18:1