The comfort of presence

by Richard Mansel, managing editor

Human beings are fearful of loneliness. We see the lonely wandering the streets, talking too long to store clerks. They babble to pigeons or people no one can see. Anything, so they can feel like they belong.

Our words and ideas must be appreciated by others, whether real or imaginary. This inherent human need is placed within us so we will crave connections with others.

We need to reach out to those society has forgotten. They have souls, and while their quirks and problems may seem exotic, they are in need of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20).

Loneliness was created by God when Adam walked alone, his voice echoing through the pristine but empty Garden of Eden. Alone has never been as palpable as it was to Adam. As a result, God lovingly created a companion for him (Genesis 2:18).

Christ came to earth for the purpose of salvation (Romans 5:6-11). He chose twelve apostles to help him in his mission and carry on after his departure (Luke 6:12-16). They shared their lives for three tumultuous years until Jesus told them he had to leave.

As the apostles listened to Jesus, their hearts broke and fear filled their minds (John 13). Jesus subsequently offered comforting words and guidance to allay their fears (John 14-17).

Jesus comforts them with the certainty of heaven and being with him forever (John 14:1-3). He reminds them that he and the Father are united in this purpose (John 14:9-11).

Knowing they cannot go back to their old lives, Jesus promises a comforting presence through the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 25-26).

Their peace is ours. The Godhead will never leave us, either (Hebrews 13:5). We can reach out at any moment, knowing they are there (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Even if mankind abandons us, the Lord will still be beside us. He gives us a new family and friends (Ephesians 2:19) and we can relax in him, knowing that his arms are always there for us.

Be comforted in his presence every day (Romans 8:1).

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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