I once read that Satan's greatest tool against Christians is isolation.
Before I gave my life to Christ, I felt entirely and completely alone, like there was no one on this earth who could understand what I was going through. In reality, there were several people around me who would have eagerly embraced me and been there for me while I struggled, but as I stood falteringly and stubbornly on my pedestal of isolation, I blinded myself to the fact that I was not alone.
As a senior in high school, I confessed to my best friend for the first time that I struggled with self-injury for all of junior high. She had no idea. I expected her to take the news in stride, since it had been so many years. However, my friend was angry with me and began to cry real tears at the depth of my hidden struggles. "You should have opened up to me," she said. "I would have been there for you."
Hebrews 10:23-25 says, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we
profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we
may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up
meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one
One way to isolate yourself is to become too busy. Beth Moore wisely said, "Insisting on being ten places at once for twenty hours a day for weeks on end will ultimately make aloneness almost intolerable."
When you fill up your schedule in order to keep from facing the reality of your problems when you are alone or the vulnerability of one-on-one conversations with friends and during quiet times with the Lord, you will lose track of the meaning and value of rest. Your burdens will become unbearable; you will ache to feel the Lord's nearness and feel confused when you cannot find it because you continue to push Him out of your schedule.
Rest is a gift from the Lord. If our own Creator took a full day out of the week to rest, how can we expect to live a healthy and joyful life without doing the same? When we force ourselves to become too busy to spend quiet time with our Savior, to face our problems with strength and courage in the Lord, and to unite with a community that has been given to us, we are missing out on the fullness of life.
One of my very favorite verses is Matthew 11:28-30, which says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
We were not made for loneliness. We were not made to bear heavy burdens alone.
Jesus is eager and willing to take our burdens from us and give us a new hope in Him. We have been given a beautiful community of brothers and sisters so that we can pray for each other and experience the joy of unity and fellowship.
Instead of packing your schedule to the point of exhaustion and no sleep, trust that the Lord will multiply your efforts and reward you for resting and putting faith in Him. Deliberately set aside time each morning to have one-on-one conversation with your Father. One of my favorite quotes is by Martin Luther, who says, "Work, work, from morning until late at night. In fact, I have so much to do that I shall have to spend the first three hours in prayer."
Rejoice in the community around you. Be vulnerable. Be filled with truth. Soak in communion with the Lord, who longs to hold you and daily carry your burdens, as Psalm 68:19 says.
You are not alone.