For the first time in almost 7 years, I have been living at home by myself. My wife and two children have spent the last three weeks in Texas. We lost a good friend, Ben Kottwitz and Angela is there trying to help her best friend, Ashli, get thru the initial grief. Even though we know that God is in control, that Ben is in Heaven, it is still a very tough situation that needs the prayers of everyone.
We had to make the travel plans quickly so Angela could get down there. Both of us felt it would be good for her to go and for me to get a lot of work done on my new book. I have a tight deadline and three uninterrupted weeks would be helpful. The truth is that I have gotten quite a bit of work done, but I wasn’t prepared for three weeks without my family. Sure, I had enough food, all my physical needs were taken care of. But I didn’t realize just how much I’d miss my wife and my two children.
I’ve gone out of town for a day or a couple of days. I even taught at a conference for a week. But this is different. Coming home every night to an empty house is lonely. It miss Angela’s laugh. I miss the noise of my two children. I miss the busy structured days.
God wired us for community, for relationships. But we don’t realize this fully until those relatoinships are gone. I’ll admit that I have never fully appreciated what my wife brings to my life until these three weeks. I guess we get so stuck in the day-to-day routines that we forget to stop and enjoy the blessings God has set before us.
Ultimately, we find our satisfaction in Christ alone. He gives us the love and security that no human can provide.
I guess my advice is this. Appreciate your loved ones while they are close by. Take every opportunity to tell them how much you love them. Show grace and mercy and forbearance on their faults. Serve them selflessly.
And pray for those who’ve lost loved ones, pray that God will give them extra grace to endure the lonliness.