Friday, January 9, 2009

Alone In A Crowd.

Do you ever feel that way? Alone? Even though you're in a room full of people? I used to feel that way most of the time. I felt no more connected to the people surrounding me than I do to the people I see on television or read about in a book. And in my day to day life, I see this loneliness in the eyes of people around me. The longing, the pain, the sadness.

I'm not sure how to explain what has changed. I wish I could. I wish I could say, "I did _____ and then it went away." Because if I could say that, then maybe other people would be able to do the same and leave that feeling behind. I can't offer anybody a step by step list for how to accomplish this. I also can't say that I've "arrived." There are still days when I look around myself at so many faces, and I feel so different. So isolated. So alone. But those days are fewer and farther between. So, since there has been improvement, I will do what I can to share with you what has gotten me here.

In 2002, I had a meeting with my Pastor. He told me that I should get a copy of In Him. In the back of this book is a long list of scriptures that talk about who we (those who have received salvation) are in Christ. He told me to get a notebook and dedicate it to my "In Him" study. Each day, I was to look up a few (between two and five) verses from this list, and write them out in first person. So I did.

Here are just a couple examples, to help you "get it."

2 Corinthians 5:21
For my sake He made Christ to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him I might become endued with, viewed as being in, and an example of the righteousness of God - what I ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness.

Ephesians 1:7-12
Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, His blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, I'm a free person — free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all my misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything I could possibly need, letting me in on the plans He took such delight in making. He set it all out before me in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in Him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

It's in Christ that I find out who I am and what I am living for. Long before I first heard of Christ and got my hopes up, He had His eye on me, had designs on me for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone.

Do you kind of get it?

I know it sounds easy. Simple. Almost like it wouldn't work. But if you do this... write the verses out in first person, and you read them and meditate on them, and say them out loud (Romans 10:17 says "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."), it will get into your heart. Into the depths of you. It will help you. Change you. You might not see it right away. You might not see a difference for weeks or even months. But if you stick it out, keep putting it into yourself, change will come.

And once you start to have a grasp on who you are in Christ, your outlook will change. You'll begin to feel like you belong. Like you are part of the biggest, best family ever to exist. Because, really... you are. And that lonely feeling? It might never go away completely this side of heaven. But it will lessen. Both in frequency and intensity.

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