The one word that strikes deep fears into every human heart. Babies and young children panic when left alone for even a few minutes. Single women fear never getting married and becoming the dreaded “cat lady”. Married women fear separation, divorce or the death of a spouse and the daunting task of rebuilding their lives alone. Parents dread the day their children leave and move away, leaving them with an “empty nest”. Even prisoners consider solitary confinement the cruellest of all punishments, terrified that the time alone would drive them insane.
The need for communion with another is a good and holy desire that mirrors the inner life of the Holy Trinity. We see the communion enjoyed by the Holy Trinity in the first chapter of Genesis. “Then God said: “Let us make man in our image after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). In this, we can imagine the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit working as one in perfect togetherness, harmony, fellowship and love. In the second chapter of Genesis, we see God forming a communion with Adam, breathing life into his nostrils and then declaring man’s need for communion with others stating “It is not good for the man to be alone” (excerpt from Genesis 2:18).
Since our hearts are made in the image of God, our deep fear of loneliness is a reflection of the longing placed in our hearts to experience the same loving communion experienced by the Holy Trinity. Thankfully, our wonderful Saviour has shown us a way to enjoy constant fellowship and never be alone.
During every moment of his life on earth, our Lord enjoyed full communion with the Father. He declared his communion with the Father saying: “I and the Father are One” (John 10:30). He poured himself out completely in service to the Father, loving him with all his mind, all his heart, all his strength and all his soul and often sought out solitude to enjoy communion with the Father (see John 5:16). Even when facing the agonizing pain and persecution of the crucifixion, and the abandonment by his friends, he said “Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16: 32). Even on the cross, in his darkest hour, he cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” in a recollection of Psalm 22 in which the psalmist praised God’s unfailing love, ever-present help and sure victory over all trials.
We sometimes ask ourselves, can we experience that constant and loving communion with God even in our darkest hour? Can we always feel God’s presence and not fear loneliness, even when parents, boyfriends, husbands and children leave our side? The good news is that our Saviour has shown us the way to experience just that. Jesus declared that his constant communion with the Father was achieved through obedience to the Father’s will.
“The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him” (John 8:29)
Jesus also revealed that his ever-present help and unfailing love will remain with us once we keep his commandments.
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him” (excerpt from John 14:23)
“If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love” (John 15:10)
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you” John 15:4
“You are my friends if you do what I command you” John 15:14
Jesus is the best friend and companion that we can ever have so let’s follow his loving commands to enjoy constant communion with him. Let’s make the study of the law our joy and meditate on it day and night (see Psalm 1). Let’s repent of our sins, rather than make excuses for them. Let’s obey his word even in the smallest matters. Let’s struggle against every temptation and strive to turn away from even the most enticing sins. Let’s strive to “take every thought captive in obedience to Christ” (excerpt from 2 Corinthians 10:5). Let’s make our goal to always do what is pleasing to him, loving him with all our hearts, all our minds, all our souls and all our strength. In doing so, we will never be alone because we would be living in the warm, embracing light of his loving presence.
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (excerpt from Matt 28:20)