From loneliness to intimacy.
John 14:1-2 (NIV)
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
In Biblical times, when a man wanted to marry a woman, he first had to give some kind of monetary gift to the family. In essence, he would redeem the woman for himself. At this point, they used a word we don’t hear much anymore. They were betrothed. This means they were legally married, but not allowed to be together or to consummate the marriage. Instead, the husband was tasked with going back to his father’s house to build a place for him and his future bride.
During the betrothal time which could last for years, adultery was not uncommon. The desire and anticipation of being together combined with such a long period of absence would easily lead to unfaithfulness.
Jesus uses these words to comfort His disciples who are about to struggle with this same kind of loneliness when He is gone.
God is letting us know there are going to be many times when our Beloved Savior is absent or so it will seem. We will go through dark days as if we are by ourselves. We will wonder where our God is? We will cry out and hear no response. a sense of abandonment might overwhelm us.
We cannot trust what we feel. Our own heart is deceptive beyond cure. We may feel abandoned, but the truth is that He is preparing our future. He is working for our good. His faithfulness does not waver. And His command to us is this, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
How can we keep our hearts, our emotions, in check when we go through the valleys of loneliness?
In the end, either my love for the Lord will remain faithful or my desire to alleviate the struggle will lead me to adulterous acts with illicitus sin. Its in these times we must remember the reference to the wedding gift. Would the lover of our soul give such a gift only to abandon us? This season will not endure and when we come to a new season of intimacy, will He have found us faithful?
We must learn to place our affection on Him so that our hearts will grow stronger in love as we yearn for His return. Soon enough, the feelings of abandonment will give way to our abandonment to Him in worship. We will realize that He was working for our good the whole time. Then we will move from loneliness to intimacy.
Prayer, Lord, help me to set my affection on You when I feel the most alone. Amen.