Yesterday, for one long moment, I had a preview of eternity without God's love. In that moment, a feeling of intense loneliness came over me as though light had been taken from the world. I seemed to be wandering aimlessly and uncertainly in heavy darkness without direction.
An unexplainable fear began to trouble my mind. In desperation I tried to reason away the fear, only to find that my powers of reasoning seemed to elude me. I tried to draw some calm from my spiritual reserve, only to find the reserve in a state of bankruptcy. I felt inadequate, alone, desperate.
Suddenly I knew that I was incomplete in myself. From the depths of my despair I cried out, realizing my need for something beyond myself.
Prayer seemed to emerge as the link between myself and God. As I began to mend that link, I became stronger. As I received strength, peace came, dispelling the fear.
Then my ability to reason returned, which led me to God's Word. There I found that Jesus lighted the darkened corners of my mind. The darkness was nothing compared to the light that now flooded my soul.
My pathway was redirected. My values and hopes were centered on a new life-- eternal life in Jesus Christ.
As my sense of direction changed, I experienced such a change that it can be described only as a new birth. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Before, I had lived only for this life, forcing thoughts and fears of the future to a dark corner of my mind until the darkness had overpowered me, leading me in a darkened depressed state that is explained in Ephesians 4:18: "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart."
Now I understand that this alienation causes a continual hunger of the soul. In spite of all our carnal efforts, however, we cannot satisfy that hunger. Only Christ can truly fill that emptiness as we invite Him to occupy our lives. But He will occupy only by personal invitation. Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20)
We hear Him knock when we are lonely. Or depressed. He knocks with each heartache. He continues to knock as He waits for our invitation. But we often continue to ignore the knock, certain that we can fill the emptiness with life's pleasures.
Yet how often we achieve our goals only to find that they are not the answer to our aloneness. So we continue to search in darkness with a carnal mind.
Our carnal or earthly mind has immunized us against God through opposition to His way. He teaches humility and we choose pride. He sows harmony; we sow discord. God is truth, while we practice deceit. This opposition keeps us from walking hand in hand with God--an opposition that keeps us from completion or fulfillment.
Perhaps in your darkest aloneness, you, like I, have had a preview of eternity without Christ. But you can have something much better--through Christ.
In that dark hour when the burden is overwhelming, answer the knock at the door of your heart and ask Christ to enter. He says, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:23).
-- Leah Hallas, adapted