I received this this morning, and sent to 5 Doves from a woman named Linda, who wished to share it with any of us going through a struggle today in our Christian walk. Thank you, Linda. A very timely post.Mary E. Adams
The Loneliness of the Christian
by A. W. Tozer
The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone.
The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.
The man [or woman] who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens.
He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.
It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else."
As I woke early this morning, the thought came to me concerning Tozer's article and the stripes Jesus bore on his back from the beatings he suffered before His crucifixion. The Bible tells us that "by His stripes we are healed". Many attribute that verse to mean we receive a physical healing by our faith and belief in that scripture. Which is true. However, the Lord showed me that there is something else to think about: Not just physical healing, but healing for our sick hearts. Jesus was wounded for our transgressions and bore our sins upon His cross. So His back was scourged for all of our sins and sicknesses, and because of His great love for us He endured the pain as well. That back was not only scourged, but it bore the weight of the Cross ,felt it rubbing into his bleeding back as he carried it to the Cross and was hung upon it.
Our loneliness comes from our bearing things on our own backs instead of His. Jesus saw every disciple desert him, deny him, speak lies behind his back. Jesus bore the pain of rejection as well as that of physical sickness. What pain--to have spent all those years with each of his friends and disciples, loving and caring for their every concern and yet ending up being rejected and denied by all.
Yet He placed it where it belonged; behind Him in that place where all healing takes place.
Only then could He later come to one of his disciples, perhaps the worst offender, to show him love and forgiveness and speak these words of confidence and trust into a defeated and demoralized failure:
'Peter, do you love Me?--Feed My Sheep.'MARY E ADAMS