All Alone?

It’s not often that I go looking for inspiration in 90’s Christian rap music. Ok, I don’t think it’s ever actually happened. But when you put the iPod on shuffle, you just never know what’s going fill your ears. This is what I got this morning from GRITS:

A servant of God must stand so…so very much alone that he never realizes he is alone. In the early stages of Christian life disappointments will come, people who used to be lights will flicker out, and those who used to stand with us will turn away. We have to get so used to it that we will not even realize we are standing alone. Paul said, “No one stood with me, but all forsook me…but the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.” We must build our faith, not on fading lights, but on the light that never fails. When important individuals go away we are sad until we see that they are meant to go. ‘Til there’s only one thing left for us to do: to look at the face of God for ourselves.

It’s from their 1999 album Grammatical Revolution. And it got me thinking. What do we do when we get to those points in life in which it feels like we have been completely abandoned?

Sounds like the Apostle Paul knew what that was like. Not too many people are willing to stick around when their ministry’s leader is in jail.

Paul understood abandonment.

Jesus knew what abandonment was like. He was abandoned on the cross, bearing the burden of our sin. Not too many people are willing to stick around when their leader is being executed.

Jesus understood abandonment.

There are times when we are abandoned by all the people we know. Whether by choice or by circumstance, we find that those we tend to lean on in hard times are unavailable. When we physically lean and the thing we expect to be there is not, gravity tends to drag us to the ground. The same thing can happen if we rely on people, things, habits, places to catch our fall in hard times.

That’s what I love about the reminder in that last line of “Count Bass D (A Reading From)”: …we are sad until we see that they are meant to go. ‘Til there’s only one thing left for us to do: to look at the face of God for ourselves.

Often when we look for support, encouragement, backup in the battle, we look to our right and to our left only. We want our fellow soldiers by our side, and when we find them missing, we are confused, hurt.

But in those times, we must remember the promise given in Isaiah 52:12: For you shall not go out in haste, and you shall not go in flight, for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

We are never alone. It may seem that we are fighting the battle alone because we feel we have little or no human support. But we have a God outside of time that goes before us, straightening and smoothing our path while still standing behind us, guarding our back in the heat of battle.

David Crowder Band sings “Only You”, a song written from the perspective of realizing and appreciating the experience of learning that He is all we need in the heat of battle:

Take my heart, I lay it down
At the feet of You who’s crowned
And take my life, I’m letting go
I lift it up, to You who’s throned

And I will worship you, Lord
Only You, Lord
And I will bow down before You
Only You, Lord

Take my fret, take my fear
All I have I’m leaving here
Be all my hopes, be all my dreams
Be all my delights, be my everything

And it’s just You and me here now
Only You and me here now

You should see the view
When it’s only You

Have you ever seen the view, when it’s just you and the Lord? Or do you crowd your view with people, places, things? God has recently stripped some false supports from my life and shown me that, while painful, the result is beautiful– the opportunity to see Him and only Him.

Try it sometime; the view is spectacular.

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