It was a simple walk on a cold windy day to take a break and stretch my legs. I had been in a cancer clinic with my lovely wife. She is walking down a path that balances quality of life with attempting to keep a degenerative disease from overtaking her. Sometimes is it seems like a lonely walk. Sometimes she asks me, “What will you do if you are alone?” Sometimes she feels alone, but is not. She knows she is not alone.
We flirt with death more than some. Threatened life often brings a reality for many people because it’s those times that often prove whether a person is ultimately alone or not.
During the same walk I passed a large pond. One white swan was on the water. For years there were two, but an animal killed the swan’s mate. This one is now alone. A half a mile later I saw another pond with one lone red leaf on the water. The contrast struck me, and I remembered the lone swan on the water. Am I alone in my trials? Is my wife? Are you alone in yours?
The God of the Bible displays in scene after scene that His desire is to know each human being who wants Him. Jesus talked to the disciples and said, “I will not leave you as orphans.” In other words, believers will not be left alone or without a sense of belonging. John 14:18-21 is a plain speaking statement that God does not leave a person alone if there is a call from the heart to know and believe in Jesus Christ. God is so radical about what happens that he says he will love us and show himself to the one who is his disciple.
A relationship with him does not guarantee that the heartaches in this broken world will evaporate but it does mean that believers will never…will never…will never be left as orphans. And, when this life on earth ends, though we die, we will live with him. That is radical. That is my God, the One who made the universe and knows the place and circumstance of each human heart. It is not an exaggeration to state that his desire is that he wants none, not one, to perish. But, we do have a part: to believe, to call upon him. This begins an eternal belonging that begins with him and goes deep, affects relationships, changes lives, and never stops for those who follow him.