“No one came to my support . . but the Lord stood at my side.” 2 Timothy 4:16-17 NIV
“People who rise to greatness have probably had a solitary experience with God alone.”
My thoughts today are about “there for you.”
Most people have had an experience when someone you counted on didn’t show up when you needed them. You felt alone, threatened and frightened. There is no lonelier moment. F. Scott Fitzgerald called that “the dark night of the soul.” American author 1896-1940. The crowd will not always be there for you. Sometimes friends won’t be. There are times in a person’s life when few are able to walk alongside, some times when none can.
That’s when who you are and what you believe deep down in your heart will be revealed. In such experiences, you discover much about yourself. The person who never knows moments bereft of human companionship never really knows a richness of fellowship God intends. I think that men who rise to greatness have probably had that solitary experience, when conviction replaces opinion, when friends replace casual acquaintance, where you either despair of life or meet God face to face.
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He was tempted in solitude, in a lonely wilderness where no man could stand alongside, as the devil challenged Him physically, emotionally, and spiritually. “Then the devil left Him, and angels came and ministered to Him.” Matthew 4:1-11 NKJV. In the closing hours of Jesus’ earthly time and just moments before his betrayal and arrest, Jesus was left alone in Gethsemane while His closest companions slept. “Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.” Luke 22:39-46 NKJV.
Paul described one of those dark nights of the soul. He was a prisoner, wrongly accused and jailed. His frequent traveling companions could not be with him. Listen to his words, “No one came to my support, but everyone deserted me . . But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength.” 2 Timothy 4:16-17 NIV. Don’t blame others; God isn’t taking them where He is leading you. When others can’t or won’t be there for you, God is! Those are life-changing moments when the God you previously knew about, becomes your God that you know personally and powerfully.
Whatever price you ultimately pay for that kind of knowledge of God’s character and personal experience of spiritual intimacy is never regretted, yielding expansive dividends lifelong. Paul affirmed another such time, “Our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless, God who comforts the downcast, comforted us . .” 2 Corinthians 7:5-6 NKJV.
Your faith needs a testimony of “nevertheless, God” moments that proclaim the faithfulness of God to you, times where you “found grace to help in time of trouble.” Hebrews 4:16 NKJV. He is God who is there for you!
My prayer for you today is that you prize God’s company above all other companions.