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Single...Not Alone Single...Not Alone
    by Cary Branscum

    You’re sitting alone. You are cold, tired, and wet. The rain runs off your hair and drips down on your already soaked collar and through your flimsy jacket. You’re lost. The trees look threatening. It’s late in the afternoon. “Why didn’t I bring my cell phone?” you think to yourself. It’s sitting in the front seat of your car right now. “Why in the world did I do this?” you ask yourself.

    Well, you thought you needed a little “time away,” so you drove out into the countryside. Parking alongside an old logging road, you took off walking and thinking about your life. That was hours ago. Now you are lost. Really lost.

    Those “big issues” you were contemplating suddenly don’t seem to matter much now. The problems you now need to solve are elemental and primal — food, rest, safety, and warmth. A warm shower and a soft bed sound like heaven. But, you are lost!

    Have you ever been lost? I mean REALLY LOST?

    It concentrates the mind in an amazing way. All the survival mechanisms kick in as you struggle to keep a clear head. In that first panic of lostness, you face two alternatives:

  1. Run screaming through the woods thinking about living out your own version of “The Blair Witch Project.”
  2. Assess your situation and decide what to do next.

    Here’s a hint: Despite 1) being the overwhelming urge at the moment, 2) is the only real answer.

That idea is totally frightening.
Being lost can happen physically and it can happen spiritually. To be lost spiritually means separation from God. That idea is totally frightening. To me, physical lostness is nothing compared to being lost spiritually.

    Lostness can also mean separation from your own identity. Lots of things can do this to us. Dealing with a life trauma or a death can cause self-alienation. You move to a new city and you are both excited and scared. You don’t know a soul. You feel unconnected. That lost feeling sometimes can be overwhelming. Some try to mask the feeling with drugs, alcohol, sex, money or whatever else our culture is peddling at the moment. You want something to make that feeling of dread disappear and sense of loneliness evaporate.

    Sin is the number one cause of spiritual death. It’s a little three-letter word we don’t hear much these days. It means to “miss the mark”, to fall short of God’s glory, and everyone is guilty according to Romans 3:23. It says ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Our sin stands between God and us. As a result, we are lost, separated from God.

    What can we do?

    What we could never do by ourselves or for ourselves, God did by sending Jesus. When we deserved it least and were trapped in the lostness of our own sin, God sent Jesus to redeem us and be the sin offering for us (Romans 3, 5, 7). That’s the message of love in John 3:16. We come to Christ, confessing him as Lord while trusting in his death and resurrection (Romans 4 & 10). We are baptized, to share with him in that death and then to be raised to a new life (Romans 6) empowered power of his Holy Spirit (Romans 8). We are no longer lost, but found. We are no longer dead, but alive. We are no longer alienated, but one with God in Christ.

    Have you done this yet? Have you responded to God’s love? God has done it all through Christ. Have you accepted this gift and obediently responded to the gospel of Christ? Don’t wander around lost anymore! Leave the lostness of the woods, get in the car and come home! Now, let’s get back to our lost person on the mountain and help him get home, too.

    As you sit, cold and wet, you begin to examine possible ways out of this horrible situation. You are determined to find a way back out of this mess. Suddenly, you remember the old scout trick: you retrace your steps. It’s easier now because the rain has filled your footprints with water. Gradually, step by step, you find your way out of the woods. Suddenly, there’s the car! With shaking hands, you unlock the door, get in, and turn on the heater. Eventually the heater’s warmth works its magic. You are warm both outside, and inside. You are found. You are safe. You are warm.

    Have you found your way back to God in Jesus? It’s the most important thing you’ll ever do. Come on! Be found! It’s okay to be single, as long as you’re not alone! Come home, where you can be safe and warm.


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A full archive of past Single...Not Alone articles is maintained. Access recent articles like My Heart is Greater Than This,Press On, and many more.
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Related Heartlight Resources:
Finding Peace
Delay
Through His Eyes
About the Author...
Cary Branscum is the Singles minister at the Westover Hills Church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

 
Title: "Single...Not Alone"
Author: Cary Branscum
Publication Date: February 9, 2000

 

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