This past week, I had the pleasure of spending an entire week alone in my house, minus the company of my dog, Chance, and Grandma who I asked to come over often. Needless to say, that “pleasure” quickly turned to sorrow as the longer the days grew and the darker the nights, the lonelier I became.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love quiet. I love a well-lived-in home full of life, but quiet at night. However, when it really comes down to it, once you’ve heard every creak, crack, and bump in the night, many of us don’t like being alone as much as we thought (myself included).
Walking out to the porch one evening that week, even poor Chance wailed his loneliness of humanity through the hollowest howl of horrifying sorrow I’d ever heard. Perhaps it was a lingering revelation that his fellow brother Buddy (who had to be put to sleep a week earlier) was really never coming back, or maybe it was a simple longing for me to come back in the house, even for just a few moments because he couldn’t stand the thought, the feeling, the presence of being alone…even when I was just outside the door he couldn’t see through.
And in some odd parallel of a lonely dog singing opera and a twenty-something girl full of anxiety and fear of being isolated in her bedroom, I tend to wonder if God at the beginning of time felt this way about His creation.
Creation of Community
In the Scriptures of Genesis chapter 2, we learn that just a few short days after God created the Universe and His creation of Adam, left this one human longing for something that even God knew needed provided. And did this mean that God wasn’t good? Of course not! Did it mean that He had made a mistake? Certainly not. But, it did mean that He recognized a need for His people even before they asked for anything, and in His goodness, He gifted us with something no other could: community.
Breathing His own life into dust to form the lungs of Adam, our Word records that Adam was created with a purpose. He was given a mission to care for the land, avoid the tree of Good and Evil, and live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. What a joy that sounds! Yet, even with this purpose and calling, Adam had no other human interaction. And before he knew it, I’m sure he felt much like me this week when the Word reflects:
It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him – Genesis 2:18, NLT
God, who recognized a NEED in His people, even before they would beg, cry out, and ask for it on their own. A need not just romantically, but relationally.
So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still, there was no helper just right for him. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. “At last,” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man”- Genesis 2:19-23
And you know what I love about that Scripture? That, as much as I want caring for things to be enough. As much as I want my dog, Chance, to be enough. Even as much as I want God in solitude to be enough, He wants a community for us, and without that, we will utterly be alone. But look! This Scripture not only tells us that God doesn’t want us to be alone, but it also reveals that God will always provide for our every need. In friendship, in a relationship, in family, even before we ever speak a word.
Psalm 139:4 declares with eloquence, “even before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, O Lord.” Nothing proves this more than the Creator of the Universe providing for the first man on the planet, not because he asked for something, but because God knew that a lack of humanity would never be enough for Adam.
Never Alone with Christ
On Thursday this week, I finally saw my parents, and as eager as a child in a candy store, I couldn’t resist the urge to tell them how much I missed them this week. And in that short span of five seconds, I realized something profound: even in their lack of physical appearance this week, I was reassured every night by the voice of my parents that they cared for and loved me the same, even when I couldn’t presently see them. I couldn’t help but think that the same principle applies to our Father in Heaven who profoundly longs to hear, speak, talk to, and remind us that we’re never alone.
Even when we can’t see Him behind the door.
Even when we can’t hear Him and we scream at the top of our lungs with a wailing sorrow.
Even when we can’t speak because we’re so full of tears that all that comes out is a blubbering mess of emotion.
Even when it’s just a week and you know your parents will be back again (as silly as that sounds), but you miss their presence and community, know this:
He’s still there. He still cares. And regardless of if we can physically see, hear, or experience Him; He doesn’t want us to be alone.