Monday, July 1, 2013

The Odd Duck Out: Lessons in Righteousness

I have always felt different, out of place. Friendships come difficulty, and I am just not a people person. Much of it could be attributed to the middle child syndrome that I suffered from as a kid (and let's face it- much into adulthood). But I've always longed for friendships, longed to fit in. But I don't watch the movies others watch. I don't listen to what others listen to. I choose a quiet night at home with yarn (don't judge!) over attending a weekend party with booze. Out of place? Probably so. I hold myself to higher standards and choose not to participate in local conversation. Does that make me a lone duck? The odd one out? Kind of.

But then it becomes evident even within the christian circle. I don't have children, so again I don't fit in. I"m not very tall, so again I don't fit in.  Sometimes it feels like a never ending circle- that it doesn't matter how hard I try or how broken I feel, I'm just the odd one out.

And over time I've learned that that's okay. I don't have to fit in, and I don't have to have friends. I overhead a talk show a few weeks ago and there was a phrase that struck me: Loneliness goes with the spiritually led. This stopped me in my tracks.

Those that are choosing to follow the Lord, those that are seeking his will- will he really lead them through loneliness? And I think the answer is yes. It appears that many of the Lord's servants went through a state of loneliness in their lives. Sometimes longer than most, sometimes shorter. My favorite example is, of course, Elizabeth. She was barren, and prayed to God for a child. She was swarmed in loneliness, even with the love of her husband trying to console her. So much that her husband even said "am I not enough?". But it was just for a period, for God consoled that loneliness that ached within her for a child. Granted, it was a VERY long journey of loneliness.

We see it again with Job. His friends left him, his spouse left him. He had nobody. But his example shows us that in our great loneliness, God does amazing works. God takes the most glory out of loneliness, whether it be suffering from a disease that separates you from the ones that love you, or whether it be that you just aren't clicking with your co-workers. It could be that you are forever suffering from middle child syndrome (or baby syndrome!) and sometimes you forget that in your deepest loneliness, righteousness comes forth. Loneliness follows you for a season, but out of that surface the greatest of life's lessons: the will of God that leads to Righteousness.

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