I spent the evening with a dear friend and his boyfriend this evening. I haven’t seen this friend in a very long time and it was wonderful to meet his boyfriend and get caught up on friendship stuff. I have found that it is an excellent idea to let folks whom I love know that I love them unconditionally, whether or not I agree with their decisions, like their sins (because I am aware that I sin…a LOT), or think they could be more moral. What I’m supposed to do is to call them (as myself) to repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Christ.
In my reading plan, the Old Testament reading is from 1 Kings 19:1-8:
1Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 5And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. 7And the angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” 8And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.
As I read this passage, I was struck by the faithfulness of God in providing food for Elijah, caring for him in his weakness. So what on earth does this reading have to do with my having dinner with a friend and his boyfriend?
I’m a lonely guy. Sometimes I’m kind of surprised that I’ve been single this long. Sometimes I’m not sure how long I can hold out, y’know? Not that the Christian life is about holding out…my obedience is in Christ, not in myself. Still, my sanctification is the part, while not initiated by me, cooperated with by me. I’m surprised that I’ve gone along with the Holy Spirit.
But I’m aware of my temptation to fall. Certainly the Holy Spirit will not leave me to my own devices permanently, but may for a time allow me to be chastised for sin in my life as part of the sanctifying process. Bottom line: when will God provide for my loneliness?
Answer: He already has. I’m not talking about my friends, though he has certainly provided those. I’m not talking about my family, though He has provided that as well. No, I’m talking about Christ who has died to pay for sin…and whose reconciling the world to Christ holds the key to my fallen condition.
Not everything we suffer from in this life is a result of sin. Some of it is just brokenness. Loneliness, I think, is one of these situations. But Christ came to die for sin, reconcile me to God so that my loneliness would be broken. (For the more theologically astute amongst us, please help me refine this and point out where I’ve erred.) He is the Husband of His Bride…and He is indeed the Lover of my soul. I’m not talking in a creepy “Jesus is my cosmic boyfriend” sense; I’m speaking of the intimacy that I will know when I see Him face to face will be incredibly more fulfilling than anything else I’m experiencing now.
This doesn’t cure all the hurt…but He never promised all of that would go away right now.
So what does this mean?
I dunno. Still trying to figure it all out.
Come, Lord Jesus. Even so, come.