Echoes From the Campfire--March 1
"He had loved the smell of lonely campfires, the crisp feeling of awakening on a frosty morning."
--Louis L'Amour (Heller With A Gun)
"Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."
--Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)
Some of you reading this will surely remember the words to a once popular song.
"Have you ever been lonely;
Have you ever been blue?"
Most everyone, sometime or other, has found themselves in that situation. Perhaps you are there now; or you might be in the near future. Loneliness is a strange phenomenon. A person can be quite lonely amongst friends and family, in a crowd or at work. There is a type of physical loneliness, but there is a loneliness that is also brought on by an attitude, by the mind. One can be lonely if there are of a mind-set and everyone else there does not think the same way. Loneliness knows no bounds.
It is important when we find ourselves in this situation that God understands loneliness. He understood the feelings of Joseph when his brothers hated him, threw him in a pit, and later sold him into slavery. Joseph a lonely boy. God understood the loneliness that Moses felt leading a rebellious nation through the deserts. It has been said that "it is lonely at the top." That's one reason Paul exhorts us to pray for our leaders. The President, whomever it may be, will have to sit in his office and even in the midst of advisors, he can be a lonely man for all rests on his shoulders.
God understand loneliness. He told Moses that "My presence will go with you." Then the day came, Moses was to pass on and the mantle of leadership was to fall on Joshua. Perhaps the sense of loneliness was beginning to creep over Joshua. The Lord told him, "I will never fail you or forsake you."
Read the psalms of David and in them you'll find where he felt lonely a time or two. I came across the writing and prayer of Army Chaplain Bernard Windmiller. I would tell you to get in a quiet place--get alone--and contemplate what he says.
"You can never move beyond the influence of God's presence. The psalmist asked, 'Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?' There is never a place where God is not! You cannot escape loneliness, but neither can you escape God's presence. You are never alone!
Prayer: Ever present God, grant me the peace of your presence. When I walk through the valleys, do not permit the shadows of the heights to lull me in my loneliness, but inspire me to walk through the valleys with this assurance, 'thou art with me.' Amen."