Life can get lonely. Friends move on, family members move away, and some relationships you once treasured lose their luster and become like driftwood a rip current has pulled out to sea. Before you know it you’re standing all alone, the water no longer kissing your toes and everyone you know has gone.
You can sit on the beach and blame yourself, go over and over in your mind all you did wrong or you can blame everyone else; point out their flaws and shortcomings. You can sit there and cry, sulk, beat your fists into the sand, and refuse to get up even though the sun is toasting your skin into a nice shade of lobster red.
Why bother. I mean, there has to be a reason you’re alone, right? Like this is some sort of punishment for bad behavior or something.
But what if that’s not the case at all. What if there is a reason God has placed you on this beach all alone. Not as punishment but as a blessing.
Maybe you’re wondering how this deep-within-your-bones loneliness could possibly be a blessing.
Why don’t you stand up, brush that sand from your backside, and stop pining for and gazing at what type of life you think you should have right now. Turn around. Do you see that forest behind you, that gap in between the trees? Go check it out.
The break in the trees is the beginning of a narrow path leading into the forest. You realize there is enough light to see, but you can’t see everything. And as you move into it, the tree limbs brushing your arms and weeds tickling your legs, you quickly learn the path tapers with each step you take.
Yes, it’s a very narrow path. Just enough room for you.
You see, God has more for you than all the vast sea, that broad path, has to offer. You may think you’re missing out on some grand adventure, but God has better things here on this narrow path for you if you’ll trust Him.
Sure it’s tempting to follow everyone else because you’re lonely. But isn’t God enough for you?
Of course He knows you’re lonely; He sees your tears even though you try to hide them, when you put on your “I’m fine” face. Remember, He can look right into your heart.
There are others on this path up ahead some distance and even some who will begin after you. Some of your family and friends will find their way here. They’ll also have to walk “alone” for a little while.
This is the time when you break apart from what everyone else is doing to follow God. Sure it’s hard. No, there are no shortcuts. Yes, you will make it because you have the best Guide possible. No, you’re really NOT missing out on those adventures at sea. Many of them will be lost out there. Don’t be fooled by the soothing sounds you heard while you were sitting on the sand, those smiles as you watched everyone leave. It’s really not some great party out there. Not at all.
Actually you are the one heading to the real celebration on this path. You see, this narrow path will allow you to focus on God, to draw closer to Him, to hunger for Him like never before and to feed on those words He gives you, filling you fully. He’s jealous for you and wants your full attention, your deep devotion, and He wants to spoil you madly with His love.
The path will be bumpy of course but you’ve got God’s hand to steady you. If you’ll just keep going, He will bring you all the way through into a glorious clearing where there will be others who chose to follow Him too, just waiting to welcome you home. Again, some family and friends will be there.
And Jesus Christ. He will be there too.
And you’ll never be lonely again.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 NIV.)