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Advent Alone

It's Monday, Day 16, The third week of Advent.  I think one of the hardest things about Advent and celebrating Christmas is when people are alone.  I have a couple of friends who have lost loved ones and they come to Christmas thinking of all the times they celebrated together, but now they have to do it alone.

There are those alone because - despite their longing and desire - no one has come along to become their partner in life, and while singleness has its benefits, many wish they could find the right husband or wife.

There are those alone because they have lost their marriage and someone they once loved has walked away...and somehow, all of the relationships that once surrounded their lives have been scattered.

There are those alone in hospitals in places of immobility.  They'd love to have others, but their time spent in a room is largely a time alone.

There are those who have come to their older years and life is restricted to a single room surrounded by others who share the space in their own nursing home rooms...still, they are alone.

Although I am a person who likes being alone, I wouldn't want to be alone all of the time.  Still, I'd like to encourage you to embrace the solitude and embrace the times alone as a time that God can have access to your heart and mind, and your prayers can be times of reality.  If you are a person who is alone that might be hard to hear, but consider this:

I have found all too readily that unless there are lonely times, times of solitude and silence, all other times of activity are in danger.  I have found that the more that I "need" others, the more I stop listening, and my speaking no longer brings help or healing, but only begs for being listened to.

My heart goes out to those's something that reminds me that in our loneliness and solitude, it is entirely possible that God will be able to invade our thinking.

Matthew 1:18-21
18  This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
19  Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

Joseph is alone...left in his thoughts of being betrayed by the one he had loved.   Yet in this time he prays, wondering what to do with the unexpected situation he now is in.  It is this time that God breaks in, the angel of the Lord speaks to him in a dream, and everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is different.
No matter that he is alone, he knows that God is near.


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