Throughout life, we encounter times when we feel completely alone, unable to turn to anyone but our Creator. The Rev. Brad Mathias of Four Winds Mission encourages those walking the path of isolation.  

There are times when we must walk alone.

Our kids, our spouses and our friends get uber-busy, totally distracted and generally overwhelmed by the drama of life. When they do, we can start to drift a bit further away, simply to protect ourselves from their personal stresses that can drain us of what little reserves we have left.

The reality is that sometimes we are the only ones able to keep moving forward, and it’s our turn to lead. To risk walking into the wild alone, to knowingly endure the isolation. To stand firm, feeling like we’re the sole representation of strength and sanity in a world of exhausted, exasperated and crazy. It’s a heavy burden to carry. 

The Agony of Alone

But just when we start to wear out, God sends refreshment or forces us to take a time-out. That means He raises up stronger, rested folks to cover our weakness, just when we’re about to completely fade out, or pushes us into an adult version of a “time-out.”

Whatever your situation, it’s likely you’re reading this blog in part because you’re feeling “alone,” isolated and empty. My encouragement is to trust that your Creator knows you better than you do.

His path can seem twisted and often leads in the “opposite” direction we want to go, but in the end, our faith draws us closer and chooses to believe when nothing around us inspires. It’s that deep-down faith that insists it’s worth the effort to stick with the divine map drawn for our lives, no matter how empty or alone we feel.

It was a common thing for Christ to withdraw from the crowds when He was on earth, to refresh Himself on a mountaintop and be alone with His Heavenly Father. It’s no surprise, then, that we might require the exact same “medicine” to refresh ourselves.

It’s also true that Christ Himself had to go through theagony of alone.” He thrashed in isolation at the garden of Gethsemane, endured the injustice of the courtroom alone and approached the shame of a criminal’s death by himself.

The suffering we feel as “alone” cannot be fully felt or shared with anyone else but the Son of God. As Christians, we believe in relying on each other, but we will still find those rare moments when all others we’ve counted on are gone or otherwise “occupied,” and we have to move forward with just our faith in Christ to comfort and encourage us.

It’s in those times we grow. 

Our roots go deeper, and our courage grows stronger, not because of any personal triumph we achieve, but from the reality of our faith becoming “tangible” and “real” in the midst of impossible odds and unreasonable demands. When you’re facing problems that overwhelm you, stuff so big you have no hope of ever meeting or completing it, remember: 

It’s time to “let go” and trust God to make up for our shortcomings. 

It’s time to “trust” that He has things under control. 

It’s time to “listen” instead of demanding things change. 

It’s time to “rest” in the middle of our storms. 

God is pursuing each one of us, and like the disciples… He has a unique and creative plan for our life, one that we can only live out if we choose to surrender it to Him.

Don’t fake it; don’t smooth the rough patches of life over. We need to allow others to see the struggle and hear the tears. Real life is learning to turn to our Heavenly Father with our pain. It’s the best “life lesson” we could ever hope to share.

 The Rev. Brad Mathias is Lead Pastor of Four Winds Mission and president of iShine and BEMA Media. Contact Brad