Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever wanted to be left alone? It’s a weird paradox. We hate being lonely, but we often want to be left alone. I have come to realize that I don’t know what I want.
I’ll never forget when my wife was going out of town for a couple of days with our kids while I had to stay home to work. I should say that I was sad because I would be separated from my family and that I was going to miss them every second of every day. I did say that to my wife and my boys, but if I were to be completely honest with you, I was excited. The thought of having a couple of days in an empty house was exhilarating. I can’t help but laugh as I think about it.
The things that get adults excited; anyways I had it all planned out, I would have some “me” time. Have you ever just wanted some time where you didn’t have to worry about what anyone else wanted or needed? Come on, moms, I know you know all about this. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to use the restroom without a little one staring at you the entire time.
So I was excited because I would do what I wanted to do for the next few days. I was going to eat what I wanted, watch what I wanted, turn the volume up as loud as I wanted, I might even leave the toilet seat up! I’m joking, of course, I was looking forward to some freedom, but I didn’t have a death wish! All joking aside, we have all been there before. We have all wanted to be free from the burden of others.
As my wife and boys left for their trip early that morning, I wasted no time indulging in my immature nature. I had the day off of work, and it was a new holiday, Me Day. Like a child at his birthday party, the day consisted of whatever I wanted and nothing else.
What’s strange is that I had expected to feel so good and satisfied after a full day of self-indulgence, but as the sun began to set on Me Day, I couldn’t deny the incredible feeling of emptiness that overwhelmed me. I felt lonely and completely unsatisfied. I wandered around the inside of my house as it eerily mirrored what was inside of me — dark, quiet, and empty. I missed my wife and my kids. I missed the noise and the chaos. That adage rings true, “You never know what you have until it’s gone.”
When God created everything, He said that it was good. All of creation was good except for one thing. There was one thing, and only one thing that he said was not good. That one thing was that it was not good for man to be alone. “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18 ESV).
The truth is that God created us as unique individuals. I am the only me that ever has and ever will exist, so we are alone in our individualism, but we weren’t created to be alone. We were made as individuals to be a unique piece of a united whole. Have you ever spent hours putting together a puzzle to discover at the end that you are missing a piece? How incredibly frustrating! The puzzle sits incomplete, unfinished, fractured. It’s interesting because that one piece on its own is pretty insignificant, it might even be a little ugly, but when it is joined to the other pieces of the puzzle, it paints a beautiful picture.
There is a kind of duality that is happening here. God made us as individuals. We often become so focused on our individualism we forget God made us unique so that our uniqueness could contribute to a larger picture. Yes, we are unique, but we are unique for the sake of others. It’s why being a part of the body of Christ (The Church) is so important.
The Holy Spirit writes it beautifully through the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter twelve: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12–20 ESV).
Let me urge you today to know God has called and created you to be a part of something much bigger than yourself. Perhaps when you read this, your life has been one long Me Day, but I promise you that as the sun begins to set, you will be left wanting, unsatisfied. There is only one thing that can truly fill the emptiness of our life: to put our hope and faith in Christ Jesus. As we do this, we are adopted into his family as a son or daughter. You may not have the same gift or talent as another believer, but you have the same purpose. Stop going through life alone. Join the family today.
Trevor Rickard is an Associate Pastor at New Life Christian Fellowship.