Jesus ... Single Like Me: He Knows What It Feels Like to Be Alone
- Thursday, August 05, 2010
Jesus lived his life as a single adult till his death. Because he lived his life as a single adult, he understands every aspect of what you and I are experiencing today. This series examines the "singleness" of Christ in relation to our singleness with the hope you will be encouraged to walk this journey you have been given. A journey that not only leads to the cross for our salvation but to his resurrection for our future.
Jesus Knew What It Felt Like to Be Alone?
I have tried and spent most of my life trying to do everything myself. I am the oldest of three younger brothers. When I was young, I had a father who was rarely home. So from an early age, I took on the responsibility of taking care of myself not to mention my brothers. Starting at the age of 8 I had a paper route plus other ways to make money. Not because it's good for kids to earn money, etc. but because I felt I had to, to take care of myself. This led to a pattern of self-reliance. Sure, my mom was there but she was very busy having to take care of everything in the home. She slowly designated certain activities to me as a way to help her. I quickly learned to do a lot of things on my own. I knew down deep my basic needs would be met; however if I wanted anything else, I would have to find a way to get it myself.
My parents' eventual divorce only led to even more self-reliance, a journey that led toward feeling isolated. Even though my mom remarried a wonderful man, a man who brought a sense of safety into our home, I had already learned to take care of myself. I felt no one understood me. No one could really relate. No one could meet my expectations, including myself sometimes.
This need to control my life, to take care of myself, was out of fear, fear of being alone. I wanted to be safe and know it would all be okay. I wanted someone else to take care of me for a change. I wanted to stop having to work so hard. I stayed weary in the fight to take care of myself. The more years that passed, the more alone I felt. Every time I had to attend another friend's wedding or get a birth announcement or hear about their move up the corporate ladder, it only emphasized my feelings of being alone. No one was there to help. No one could truly understand my pain. No one was there to take the load off. So I learned to carry the load, that is, until I met Jesus.
Jesus understood what it was like to carry a heavy load. Jesus was also the first born in his family. I am sure he remembers the responsibility of taking care of his siblings, helping his parents, etc. not to mention learning a trade to help support his family. The long days of hearing his siblings cry or fuss, or his mother too tired to clean up the dishes, or his father so busy with work that he had to do some of it to help out. Jesus probably felt like I did as a child that things didn't always seem fair. Because he was fully human, I am sure he also felt alone.
Jesus' understanding of being alone continued into his adult life. Jesus started his public ministry with the huge task of calling his disciples. These were men who time after time abandoned Jesus. (Luke 22:4-46). Not because they meant to hurt him, but because they were human. Most of us think of our own needs first. Due to our selfishness, we forget others who are lonely, hurting and need Jesus. Jesus had a huge task of teaching these men (and the many who followed) who he was and why he was here. He taught them a lifetime of knowledge so they would continue his ministry. What a burden on Jesus! So much to do in so little time. So much to do with men who at times forgot who he really was and why he was here. Jesus, I am sure, at times felt like no one was getting it. Was he alone in this battle, this journey? Would these people EVER get it? Do we get it?
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