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The Fear of Loneliness (24 October)

Morning Encounter:

Read:

Where could I go to escape
    from your Spirit
    or from your sight?
 If I were to climb up
to the highest heavens,
    you would be there.
If I were to dig down
to the world of the dead
    you would also be there.

 Suppose I had wings
like the dawning day
    and flew across the ocean.
 Even then your powerful arm
    would guide and protect me.
 Or suppose I said, “I’ll hide
in the dark
    until night comes
    to cover me over.”
 But you see in the dark
    because daylight and dark
    are all the same to you.

Psalm 139:7-12

Reflect:

Psychiatrists know that the best way to conquer fear is to be exposed to the thing you fear. Fear of loneliness is very real and if we arrange our lives to avoid being alone, the fear will become controlling. One of the most compelling reasons to explore the spiritual practice of solitude is that we will discover that we are never alone. Even in the most extreme isolation, God is there with us.

Respond:

Father God, show me you are with me. Free me from my fear and help me find ways to meet with you alone.

Midday Meditation:

'Our fear of being alone drives us to noise and crowds… But loneliness and clatter are not our only alternatives. We can cultivate an inner solitude and silence that sets us free from loneliness and fear. Loneliness is inner emptiness. Solitude is inner fulfilment.'

(Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline)

Evening Reflection:

‘What line of thinking do my thoughts take? Do I turn to what God says or to my own fears? Am I simply repeating what God says, or am I learning to truly hear Him and then to respond after I have heard what He says? 'For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’”

(Hebrews 13:5-6).  

(Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for his Highest)

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