It is so easy for each of us to believe that when times are difficult, when we feel all alone that God is missing in action, and we wonder if God sees you. We know with our head that he is here, we know what scripture says about His presence, but it doesn’t feel like he is here.
This week I have struggled with hearing God in the loneliness. I have been to two conferences in four weeks, surrounded by other women who have struggles of their own. We share stories and encouragement with each other. When I came home some of my family were already at the house for Thanksgiving, so a week and a half passed before I pulled my suitcase from the trunk of my car.
The Christmas decorating and shopping followed immediately with all of its hurry, hurry lifestyle. You want to say, “Merry Christmas” to those in the stores but you feel like you yell it to them as you run past them to the next project.
This week is the first I have had to sit before the Lord and process the things I heard while I was away, and to realize that I am home and I feel alone.
I went to God in prayer, pouring my heart out to him about how painful it is to not be in church community, to live in this desert. And I asked him, to please give me encouragement. I really needed to know that He was still hearing me, and knowing my heart to know Him better, and to do the work that was in my heart.
The next day, and for the next three days, I want you to know, that through my online community, without telling anyone that I was struggling, I began to get email, and messages on Facebook about how much I was loved.
Only God can do that! Only God!
Hagar was was in the desert, sent there by Abraham according to God. I can understand her feeling of alone and without God. When Abraham put a skin of water on her back and sent her, and her son, into the desert , did she feel like God had forgotten her? Hagar, a woman who had an encounter earlier in the desert, who is the only person we know of who was given the gift of naming God. She called him the God who sees me.
If God can find Hagar in her desert of loneliness and sorrow, will He not find you as well? Perhaps, he has been there the whole time and we just didn’t realize it. God will allow us to go through different experiences and feelings when that is the area of ministry to which he calls us for that day, or even that season.
Sometimes our greatest miracles are in the small things that are muddled in the mundane while walking alone in the desert.
If you are hurting, needing to know that God is here with you, why don’t you ask Him to encourage you today? And maybe, today you can be the answer to someone else’s cry for encouragement in the loneliness. Consider today, posting a Facebook message encouraging someone, send a card, or make a call.
In what way do you encourage other? I love comments, would you share here in the comments?
There is a new website that is about to launch for those who feel outside the walls of community. You can take a sneak peak here!
Latest posts by Diane W. Bailey (see all)
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So well said, Diane. He does see and hear us. I am grateful to be in your circle of community online~ much love to you, friend.
Love you too, Amy!
You are loved so very much. What a glorious story. Thank you for encouraging me and inviting me to write at your place here. Though it was very very quiet 🙂 …. I hope and pray and trust that someone found one single word folded in the lines of prose. One word of encouragement and hope. I know this place of being between church communities. I know it well.
Elizabeth I feel certain that it was not a wasted effort. Thank you Sweet friend for your gift of words here!
Beautiful post, Diane. The online community is a beautiful thing isn’t it? I’m delighted to read how it has been there for you. I’m grateful for a God who sees us. Blessings to you.
I struggled as to whether or not to write this. I don’t want to sound all pitiful, but I want to open the door to others who are struggling. There is hope, I want them to know they are not alone.
Diane, you are not alone. You have wonderful insights and have created a very comfortable and supportive place here. Thank you for your honesty and inspiring faith.
Thank you for visiting here Hope! I know that The Lord provides all we need!
I am so grateful for the women who blog who though I have never met touch my heart with their openness and honesty and make me feel less alone.
Like you I know God is always with me, but even in the good times it can feel like He is far away one moment and close by the next.
I guess that is why we live in faith and not on feelings, because they vary so much and God is always there, always faithful, new each morning, just like the blogs I get each day. What a blessing to feel part of a sisterhood of believers. thank you!
Thank you for your encouragement Mary. I thought several times about deleting this post. You are such a blessing to me!