Don’t Miss Out if this Season brings on Loneliness

When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers”  ~ 2 Timothy 4:13 NLT.

The Holiday Season is upon us.  This week we will celebrate Thanksgiving and be immediately thrust into the melee of Christmas.  Too often it is during this time of merriment that individuals can experience loneliness:  A depressing few weeks destitute of any sense of companionship leaving one feeling a desolation of spirit and soul.   Isolated the season seems more bleak than merry!

What should you do when you go through a season of loneliness? The answer is illustrated in the life of Paul in 2 Timothy 4, when he was in prison and awaiting his execution.  He spent over two years in a Caesarean prison before be escorted to Rome where eventually he was beheaded for his faith. 
 
When you go through a season of loneliness, you need to make the most of your time.  Instead of living in a spirit of dreariness, do what Paul did, take action.  That means making the best of a bad situation.  Resist the temptation to do nothing.  Try to think of creative ways to take advantage of the seasons in which you are alone.

Paul wrote to Timothy from prison and told him, “When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers”  ~ 2 Timothy 4:13 NLT.

In a season of loneliness, you need to be comfortable and productive. Even though he was lonely, Paul didn’t throw a pity party.  He didn’t complain or give up.  This is Paul, one of the greatest Christians who ever lived after Jesus himself, who won countless people to Christ, and who is completely alone in his final days.  What does he do?  He makes the best of the situation.  He utilizes his time.  He says two things:

 
  1. “Bring my coat.” Those Roman prisons were damp, dark, and cold.  He did the best he could to take care of himself.  It is true of human nature that when we are lonely and depressed, we don’t take very good care of ourselves—physically or any other way.  We don’t exercise.  We don’t rest well.  We don’t eat right.  Paul did the best he could to take care of himself.  Perhaps you need to hear this today, if you’re not taking very good care of yourself because you’re lonely.
  2. “Bring my books.”  Paul, like me, was a people person.  He didn’t like to be alone; it wasn’t the way God wired him.  Being in solitary confinement in a Roman prison was the opposite of where he wanted to be.  Yet he did the best he could.  He wrote letters that today are included in the New Testament.  Maybe the only way God could slow him down was to put him in solitary confinement.  And some 2,000 years later, we are still benefiting from Paul’s loneliness.  Maybe you could find a good book, or better yet read from Paul’s writings in the New Testament through the holidays and let God’s inspired Word comfort you.
 
 
~ Happy Thanksgiving
Pastor Greg


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