Look Again, Harder This TimeLook Again, Harder This Time
. . . and they shall call his name Immanuel
. . . God with us—Matthew 1:23
We men often feel alone. Even surrounded by family, friends, work colleagues, we can still feel very much alone. These feelings—not of loneliness, but alone-ness—are most acute, of course, in times of stress or struggle or suffering. You see, it’s when we’re most in need of help and companionship that we’re most apt to be convinced that no one’s going to help or no one’s going to understand . . . maybe not even God. Right? I mean, in those dark moments, it can feel like God’s just not there, or has turned away. In one of his dark moments, King David cried out: “I am cut off from your sight” (Psalm 31:22).
The truth is, God is always there, in every moment, bright and dark. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). God doesn’t abandon us in dark moments, even when our sin causes the darkness. So we must learn to see him, even in those moments. One great way to learn is to look backwards, at dark moments from our pasts, moments when we felt alone, and look for him once more, a bit harder this time.
Okay, so what do we do?
Spend some time in prayer. Close your eyes. Quiet your mind. Now, drawing upon everything you know about him, get a picture of Jesus. Think about his goodness—and his heart for the weary, the worried, the wicked, the down, the downtrodden. Think about his willingness to go into tough places and tough situations . . . to redeem them. Next, recall a moment from your past. Call to mind a picture of a time when you felt alone. Visualize the details. Remember how it felt. Now, bring the two pictures together and imagine how Jesus might have (actually) been at work in the moment you chose.