SLAM! The 9-year-old shuts her bedroom door with drama. Why?
Maybe a fight with mom or dad. Maybe some bad news just arrived. Maybe she had a terrible day at school, and just bolted into the house and into her room.
Whatever happened, she is retreating to the best safe place she can think of. She flops onto her bed and folds her pillow over her face. Soon it is soaked by her tears, as she sobs uncontrollably.
She doesn’t want to talk to anyone. She doesn’t want to be disturbed. A sign on the outside of her bedroom door says in bold, colorful, hand-drawn letters, “Keep Out!” Aimed, of course, at her parents, her brother, and her problems.
Where do you go? What is your safe place in moments of trouble? Maybe your bedroom or another place. Maybe overworking, overeating or overanalyzing. Maybe sleeping, screen time or spending.
Whatever your escape, there is a big sign on it that says, “Keep Out!” Because you believe the lie that you have found this place to make things hurt less, to control your environment, to strategize a solution your own way.
This is why people feel lonely. Even today, when anyone can instantly connect with Facebook friends around the world, people are lonely. With a world of helpful, nice, caring people—especially family—around us, we are still lonely.
It’s a choice more than a circumstance. We are not victims. We just think it’s better for us to be independent in our own ways. Independent from the very thing we long for. Companionship. Understanding. Help. Community. Home.
Jesus did not fall for this mistake of independence. He remained in constant communion and communication with his Father. Even during temptation and trouble—especially during temptation and trouble.
As the Son of God he had the ability to be independent, to keep people out, to run from his Father and try to make it on his own. He wouldn’t do that. Jesus believed that remaining connected with his Father would do more for him than slamming the door and sobbing all alone.
Jesus also believed that coming closer to people would be a blessing for him, and for us. Like a loving parent comes to the bedroom door of a hurting, lonely 9-year-old and gently opens it, Jesus comes to the hurting and lonely, the independent and all of us who think we’re okay on our own.
“My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (John 14:23).
Not alone, but with his Father, Jesus comes to the lonely. Can you process through your troubles with him instead of on your own? It’s a much better safe place. It’s a “home” where Jesus wants to live—with you.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am independent and have shut you out too often. It can make me lonely, and it’s my own fault. Open my door. Take me in your arms. Come near, and be with me. Speak into me your forgiveness, mercy and strength. I’m glad you are here. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read John 14 today. Meditate on any words of Jesus that promise that he is coming close, opening the door, and providing companionship to you. Pray to accept and receive these blessings by faith, and better appreciate always being home with Jesus.