Tuesday, January 4, 2011

In The Luggage of Life, F. W. Boreham writes, in the piece titled Our Desert Islands, that all the inhabitants of earth are truly Islands. We are each of us hopelessly cut off, and isolated. And this isolation is for ever. Boreham states one of the factors as our being isolated is our own unique individuality. There is no one anywhere like Me or Thee for that matter. So, no human can bridge the gulf that separates our souls, or enter into the soul of another. No one can enter into our deepest pains or our greatest joys. All we can do, is look on in sympathy or rejoicing, but never enter into the life of another. Not even in our richest friendships or most precious loves can we fully know or be known.

We speak of there being a God shaped hole inside us. There is truth to that. But, I say that is only part of the truth. Originally, in the Garden of Eden, there was no separation. There was oneness with the creator and with each other. There was shared joy and real unity.

However, with the taking of the forbidden fruit, death resulted. Not just the physical death we all experience in time, but death in the form of our fully knowing one another. The unity and oneness of a shared life was severed. We went from fellowship and joy to being islands surrounded by a great gulf of aloneness. The unity with the creator was also lost.

But wonder of wonders, this holy, unapproachable, righteous and just God made a way we could again be connected with Him. He sent The Word as a babe, Immanuel to be human. Not a fly by visit, but to live as a man, a created being. To come face to face with the pains, terrors, temptations and desires that drive mankind. Then came that final, terrible lesson. Christ learned the death of separation from humanity and from God on the Cross. When he groaned "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me", he experienced that ultimate separation from his Father.

A part of the salvation gift to us, Christ shared our aloneness. I think he didn't fully understand that total severing from the Holy God, and one another until that moment when the unity of fellowship and life was snapped between him and the Father. At that moment he entered into the full loneliness of humanity and fully understood mankind’s loss. And he understood also, that only through this death, He became God’s intervention on our behalf.

As humans, we know we are alone and separated from one another, but we never stop trying to bridge the gulf between us. We try many things. Popularity, fame, fortune, beauty, charm, intellect and power are all tried. And if we don’t have inborn assets we strive in other ways. Some have looked to intimacy, random or permanent - thinking that will bridge the gap. Some use alcohol and others drugs. And some strike out in rage, murder, and evil. And of course, all of this is fueled by the enemy of our souls, Satan.

Some think marriage will be the answer, or bearing children. These often result in us drawing closer to another, but ultimately it doesn’t satisfy that inner loneliness. And all of us, because of the roads we travel to try and find a filling up, a healing of that loneliness, become further damaged.

Only in Christ can we be reconnected to our Creator and God. And only in Christ can we find that which gives meaning to life. In our relationship with Him, and Him alone can we begin to find REST, as spoken of in Hebrews, and in that rest, find any true life.

Hebrews 4:1 (ESV)  Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, "As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter my rest,'"
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: "And God rested on the seventh day from all his works." 5And again in this passage he said, "They shall not enter my rest."

6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, "Today," saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.