I face it every night. After tucking my son in bed, I close the door and walk back into my living room. There it is, my faithful companion: being alone.
I didn’t choose the single life. Yet God chose it for me (at least for this season). I was happily married with a newborn when my wife passed away in an automobile accident.
Every night I must choose how to pass my time. I could catch up on work, watch television, read a book, surf the internet, etc. But the one thing I would love to do is the one thing unavailable to me at the moment. I am anticipating a time that I can remarry and have a wife with whom I can share my evenings. I long for the day I can sit down and pour out my heart with my mate after a long day. I am eager for the next chapter of my life in which I can laugh with a new companion.
But for now, God has brought me to a place of being alone.
Being alone, however, is not all bad. In fact, Christ himself spent great amounts of time alone (Luke 4:42,5:16, 6:12, 9:36, Mark 1:35, 6:45-46). There can be great value in solitude. Yet, it is a difficult path.
Being alone forces you to make choices regarding how you will occupy your time. There is no one else around to dictate your time for you. You have no excuse –you and you alone make the decisions.
While there are a million-and-one things you could spend your time doing, everything boils down to two categories: get bitter or get better. You can choose to loathe in self-pity and bitterness about your state of solitude, or you can choose to spend your time in ways that are beneficial to your heart, mind, and soul. Which of the two options do you think Jesus practiced in His moments of solitude?
In order to take advantage of solitude rather than feeling like the victim of solitude, consider these tips:
1) For the believer, being alone is never really alone (Matthew 28:20). Remember, God is with us and will never forsake us (Romans 8:31).
2) In the moments of greatest weakness, remember that being alone requires grace alone. Grace is not just seen in forgiveness of past sins –it is also the strength to withstand present and future sin! Not only that, grace provides the power to remain faithful in the most difficult of circumstances (2 Corinthians 12:9).
3) Remember that God is still in control of all things (Romans 8:28). He has not forgotten you, but has a purpose for all of the circumstances you are presently facing.
Whether or not I ever remarry remains to be seen. Yet no matter my future, one thing is certain: God’s grace is sufficient for me.