Together > Alone

3 10 2014

I recently watched an episode of The Walking Dead entitled “Alone.” Judge me if you like, but there’s just something in me (and millions of other viewers) that romanticizes a zombie apocalypse. Regardless, this particular episode emphasized an important reality: Being alone stinks. Yes, I know, we all need some alone time, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. You can “be alone” even when you’re in the presence of hundreds of people. And nobody was created to “be alone.” God said it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18).

I can relate. There are times when I feel alone. As a leader, it happens more frequently than I would like to admit. I feel alone whenever I don’t have someone close who understands the emotions I’m going through. I am so thankful for the gifts of friendship that God has blessed me with such that I always have someone I can turn to. I do not take those friends for granted. But not everyone has found such community, and prolonged aloneness takes its toll. The most common coping mechanism in America for feeling alone is to build the kind of life that never depends on anyone for anything – to become completely self-centered and never make ourselves vulnerable to the pain of feeling alone anymore. Some people become withdrawn, stop feeling altogether and live in denial. Others compromise values in order to belong or be with others so they no longer feel alone. If you feel alone you may be tempted to act out in some kind of a harmful way to mask your internal pain. And feeling alone has led numerous people to simply give up, particularly when the challenges of life begin to mount.

That was the case for the Israelites Nehemiah interacted with in Jerusalem after the exile. They had accepted their disgrace and had given up on the restoring their beloved city to its former glory. They faced opposition and felt their challenges were insurmountable. But Nehemiah cast a vision for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem with these words, Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace! (Nehemiah 2:17b) Let US rebuild the wall… Nehemiah invited them to face their struggles and pain and opposition and disgrace TOGETHER! Nehemiah invited them into a vision that could only be accomplished TOGETHER! When things are overwhelming because you’re facing them alone, know that TOGETHER, with God, anything is possible.

As I reflect on the last decade of Quest’s ministry, there are many achievements and accomplishments that are noteworthy. Baptisms, professions of faith, ministries begun, missions projects completed, lives changed here and around the world and more. But I have to be honest and say that what has been most personally gratifying for me is that over the last 10 years, we Questers have lived out the mission of God TOGETHER. I would rather go through trials and tribulations together than live in the glory of success on my own. Because, as God said, it is not good for man to be alone.

Join me in praising God for 10 years of Quest ministry lived out together.

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