In the quiet and the silence, God is there. He is somewhere in the space where we begin to think outside of ourselves. He is not someone who is controlled by our emotions or our intellectual prowess. He lives outside of us. Thank goodness. For we need a Savior that operates consistently, even when we cannot. It is somewhere in the space of humility that we begin to hear His voice.
It is the time of year when the gray and shortened days begin to cause gray and shortened points of views. It is the time when sadness creeps in and has nowhere to go. The quiet woods of winter can lead to the engulfing sense of loneliness. The loneliness can lead to spaces that feel small, cramped, and suffocating. The pressing of the gray sky can press in on a soul and snuff out the air that can bring hope.
How can we bring space into a pressing, gray moment? We need to get outside of ourselves. I am not talking about something we can do on our own. We need to get outside of ourselves and make room for God to come into the gray and suffocating spaces of the winter blues. There are many ways to create room for God to come in, but here are three ways I turn the gray days from suffocating to comforting.
- I speak into the sadness. I say out loud, “I feel sad. I feel stuck. I feel ________________.” Now the emotion is no longer in my head. It is out in front of me and for some reason this helps logic to begin working. I am sad, but I won’t always be.
- I speak truth back into the sadness. I think of Peter in the Bible. Peter was a bit of impulsive, emotional fella. I love him. When he is walking out on the water (which by the way only appealed to him because he was an impulsive, emotional fella), he begins to falter because He takes his eyes off of Jesus. Let’s get our eyes back on Jesus and the words surrounding the things he loves. Click here to download verses to help you when you have feelings of loneliness.
- The next best thing I can do is to be quiet. For me, it means to take what I have read in the Bible and get real quiet. I listen to my breathing. I listen for the sounds around me. I remind myself that it is not just me in this space. God is with me. The Holy Spirit is here to comfort me. Then, I get up, go, and do the next best thing. Making my body function honors that God is working and He will help me to be okay.
I love Psalm 139:5, where David says that God encircles him and His hand is on him. I love the coziness of this picture. It is actually the perfect picture of a gray day with the clouds coming close. Can you give yourself permission to feel the quiet loneliness as an invitation to recognize you need a Savior and that Savior is encircling you?
Fight the urge to turn the loneliness to shame. Loneliness does not mean you are not enough. It means this world is not enough. CS Lewis says, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus and the promise that this world is not all there is.
The gray lasts for a moment. Allow yourself the comfort of the gray moments. Allow the picture of God encircling you to quiet your soul. Breathe in and walk on.
You will be okay.