I have been thinking about Jesus’ words to us about not being orphaned. “I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you.” (John 14:18). What does it feel like to be an orphan? We certainly get a visual example of being orphaned when we see all the refugees who are homeless from the wars that rage throughout the world. It is difficult to image a child being orphaned in such a circumstance. Do men ever feel orphaned?
While a man might not be physically orphaned, there are ways that men live their lives in “lonely isolation,” feeling emotionally orphaned. The sense of abandonment can be a very frightening reality that men have difficulty acknowledging. This can happen when a man lives a self-referenced, self-enclosed life. It is a life turned in on self. One can live a very functional, productive life, but be alone on the inside. Why? Because we are meant for relationship. That is, we are to live not just from our heads, but also from our hearts. Men, we need to pay attention to our heart connections.
Jesus was abandoned at the end of his life by all those around him. He was all alone. But listen to his words to us. “You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.” (John 16:32) Earlier Jesus said, “The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone…” (John 8:29). Jesus whole ministry was that of doing his Father’s will. Because of his intimate connection with the Father, he was able to endure total rejection.
In Jesus’ example we find the key to not feeling orphaned. It is in our relationship with our heavenly Father. Men, I want to say with get emphasis, as if I were with you in a one- on-one conversation, that God loves you deeply. He know all your thoughts and attitudes. You can’t hide a thing from him. Ps 139 expresses this so well. David said, for example, “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” (Ps 139:2). He sees you in that dark, lonely corner of your heart. He comes to you in love, wanting you to know that you can stand up and walk with him into the light of his healing presence.
Listen to how David experienced this darkness. “Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you” (Ps 139: 12). Our heavenly Father waits for us to invite him into the darkness of our loneliness. When I feel abandoned and alone, I simply cry out to my heavenly Father to come to me. I open my heart as best I can, and ask for the light of his presence. He comes to me in the person of his Son, who is the light of the world. Through Jesus, I can come to the Father and know that I am safely home.