We recently had an unfortunate invasion of our chicken coop by a mysterious predator, reducing our hen count from six to one. It was not a pleasant scene. Only one lonely survivor. My daughter appropriately gave her a new name, Sola (Latin for alone).
We felt badly for Sola but, to our pleasant surprise, she adjusted well to her lack of companions. She kept right on giving us that single brown egg every day. What a gal. We have since graced Sola with six young feathered friends and they are getting along fabulously. Now we are wondering if we should rename her, since she’s not alone anymore? Probably not…her name is too much a part of her story now.
I know a beautiful young lady who recently became single and is now wrestling with what it means to be sola. She has a relationship with Jesus Christ and He has been her Rock since she was a little girl. She also has a supportive family and a couple of great friends, but even still, she is struggling deeply with her unexpected change of status. Lately, she’s been crying herself to sleep.
To be sola is very difficult.
For the record, even those of us who have a relationship with a significant other must confront the difficulty of feeling alone occasionally. Marriage, for all its benefits and blessings, does not eliminate the possibility that you will ever feel the ache of loneliness. Just because you share a bed doesn’t automatically mean that you are sharing life.
As it turns out, even when we are surrounded by people it is possible to feel utterly alone. One of the defining paradoxes of our time is that on one hand we are more connected than ever – through technology – yet on the other hand we are more lonely than ever. Huh? It’s true.
As an influential leader in ancient Israel, David had lots of relationships. He was famous and well-connected, yet there were many times that he confessed feeling lonely. Apparently, he wasn’t always enjoying friends at the palace. No, sometimes he was alone in a cave. To God, David said:
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted. -David, Psalm 25:16
But these words of David point up something valuable about those times when we are feeling alone. Whether you are sola just for an evening, for a year, or longer, there is something unique about that status as far as your relationship with God is concerned. Loneliness sometimes prompts us to press deeper into fellowship with God, when otherwise we might ignore Him. Though it is a difficult place, being sola can also be a very fertile ground for spiritual growth.
Over the years I’ve heard many people testify about how they grew the most in their relationship with God when they were sola, alone. Not that they do not appreciate companionship, but they realize it was in those times when they were alone that they bonded with Jesus like never before, and they wouldn’t trade it for anything.
When there was no one else in their space, at least no one in the flesh, they took advantage of the opportunity to get to know Christ better. Since He was the only one available, they pursued Him. And when they did they realized something – Jesus was the only one they could not live without. That’s deep, but that realization would make their future relationships all the better.
Single, maybe. Alone, never.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.