“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” –C.S. Lewis from The Problem of Pain
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:17-18
It’s funny how God brings two complete opposites together. My wife is a morning person. She’s chipper as soon as her feet hit the floor. Not me. Most days I’m like a groggy grizzly bear who has just risen from a month long hibernation.
The slightest noise will wake my wife up. Not me. I’ve slept through hurricanes, fire alarms, thunderstorms, barking dogs and crying babies. Side note to new fathers: never yawn, stretch and say, “What a blessing…our newborn didn’t even make a peep” to your bloodshot eyed wife. This never ends well.
If heavy sleeping were an Olympic sport, I would be a lock for a gold medal. Being a deep sleeper, I’ve devised many tricks to see the light of day at a reasonable time. My iPhone has 5 alarms set. The fallback plan is the radio setup on the opposite side of the room that blares the local rock radio station at full blast.
Those screeching sounds are the only way to shock my system into wake up mode. Without them, I’d still be sleeping and not in front of a keyboard. In some regards, loneliness serves as a similar wake-up call.
When life is going well, we can sleep walk through our days not realizing our desperate need for connection with God and others. The pain of loneliness rouses us from our slumber. It awakens our eyes to see our brokenness and separation.
Colliding with pain forces us to come face-to-face with our deepest spiritual needs. Our natural tendency will be to hit the snooze button, roll over and try to go back to sleep. But, the alarm ringing again is inevitable.
We’ve got to get out of bed and answer the call. But, more importantly, we have to realize there is a beauty and purpose behind the pain. God is not so much concern with changing our circumstances. He is more focused on mending our heart.
God desires to redeem our loneliness. If we lean into the pain, God can use our loneliness to transform our heart and mind as well as bring us in a deeper intimacy with Him. He wants to speak to us through His megaphone of pain.
The alarm is ringing, are you going to answer it?
- How has God used moments of loneliness to shed light on your need for Him?
God, often I struggle to hear Your voice or sense Your presence. Yet, in those lonely moments when I can no longer ignore the pain, I can feel You are with me. During these times when I am all alone, I can sense You shouting to me, reminding me that You will never leave me nor forsake me. Redeem my loneliness. Let the pain bring me closer to Your side. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.