Wednesday, October 19th, 2016
Suffering (Part 23)
Loneliness: Anna, The Prophetess
And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Luke 2:36-38 (NASB)
I'm well acquainted with loneliness. For me, it was an essential sadness that sent me searching for the Antidote. Much to my own surprise, I met Jesus. Before this meeting and well beyond it, I spent two years alone in a cabin on a mountain top in Northern Georgia.
I believe the Lord intends His children for fellowship, instead of loneliness. Even so, loneliness has an upside. It encourages communion with God: both for me and the prophetess, Anna, who got to see Jesus as a Baby.
'Anna was desolate, that is, alone, or solitary. A widow can know what it is to face a long, lonely and cheerless life, and a solitude made more acute because of the remembrance of happier days. But it was not so with Anna. When as a young, motherless wife, God withdrew from her the earthly love she rejoiced in, she did not bury her hope in a grave. In the place of what God took, He gave her more of Himself, and she became devoted to Him who had promised to be as a Husband to the widow, and through her long widowhood was unwearying in devotion to Him.' *
Actors, models and talent for Christ: If you've felt gripping isolation, use it to good advantage: seek God. That's an invitation He accepts. 'You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart' (Jeremiah 29:13).
Even better, He's seeking you, too: 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My Voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me' (Revelation 3:20).
Regarding other relationships, 'God sets the lonely in families' (Psalm 8:6). He did for me and He will for you.
To Be Continued...
* Bible Gateway narrative on Anna: https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/Anna
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Suffering series.