*Written by Liz Lind
Probably 90% of those who are following this blog have been impacted by Mom’s life in some way before the stroke. And for most of you, that impact came in a lonely moment. Mom has always had a heart for the lonely. In fact, it seems her mission in life is to find the lonely and surround them with love and family. That is the essence of the heart of God. In Psalm 68 it says that He is “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows” and that He “sets the lonely in families.” My Mom has always understood that.
We were not made to do life alone.
Yesterday Mom made the daily difficult journey from her bed to a wheelchair. Though she is getting stronger, this is the hardest part of her day. Just getting into a wheelchair, on a hard day, can take multiple people on all sides of her. As we took her into the bathroom to brush her teeth, tears began to well up in her eyes. She looked at her Occupational Therapist (who was brushing her hair) and said, “I can’t believe how much we need each other. We were made to need each other. I can’t do a single thing alone.”
Though this is a painfully hard reality, it is a beautiful picture of how God meant it to be. We were never meant to do life alone! In fact, we can’t. We are brought into the world because someone else is willing to bear us. We are kept safe and raised by someone else. We are even brought to Jesus (almost always) through someone else. God designed the world in such a way that we are not independent but dependent.
We forget this. Mom is our illustration.
We are all just as dependent on each other and certainly on Jesus. Mom doesn’t have the luxury of forgetting like we do. She is reminded each morning.
If you do a word study in the Bible on how many times God talks about orphans, widows, and refugees (foreigners, aliens), you will be amazed.
- “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” James 1:27
- “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…” (Ps. 68:4-6)
- “The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow…” (Ps. 146:9)
- and on and on and on….
Why does he focus so much on these groups of people? Because by nature of their circumstances, they are ALONE. And God designed the world in such a way that “it is not good for man to be alone.”
Because of my Mom’s current dependence, we are seeing this reality in a new way. We can rarely ever leave Mom “alone.” We take shifts and tag team. Yet times come where we must leave her. And times come in all our lives where loneliness is inescapable. The world does not work in the way God designed. Yet even in this, God has made it possible for us to never be alone! Right before He left the world He promised us, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (Jn. 14:18). His very presence makes it impossible for us to EVER be alone. What an incredible comfort.
Today, I challenge you to do three things:
- Take time to remember your own dependence on God and others.
- Thank someone who has walked with you, held you, and carried you in moments where you couldn’t do life alone.
- And ask Jesus to lead you to one lonely person this week. Be His hands and feet in a lonely world.
Thank you to each one of you who have surrounded us in our time of need. We have NOT been left alone! His presence has been with us and the Body of Christ has been around us. Thank you!
As we head into Mom’s surgery on Monday, we feel apprehension and fear. But praise God, even though we can’t go into that surgery room with Mom, Jesus goes with her. Praise God for His presence WITH us and your presence all around us!