Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Some may find it rather uncomfortable to been seen in public doing activities alone. Whether it being going to see a movie, shopping, you name it. The most popular activity that people typically refuse to do is eat alone at a restaurant. It just doesn’t feel right, agreed? I haven’t quite been able to pinpoint why this is such a struggle for people (including myself), but I understand the anxiety it can bring.
The bottom line is…no one wants to be alone or perceived as lonely. So it makes so much sense that we would rather die than been seen doing something made for more than one person by ourselves. Even if we’re simply waiting on someone to come meet us at a particular place, we may get antsy because we’ve been alone too long. You’re at the table and the waiter keeps coming by asking if you’re okay. “Do you need some more water?” “Would like to go ahead and start your order?” Then you may respond, “No, I’m just going to wait a few more minutes for my friend to arrive.” We keep glancing at our watches, checking our phones, looking out the window. Impatience is taking over. You look at the table next to you and see people having a seemingly good time. We come to the conclusion that we’re done and ready to get up and go, just for our friend to walk in right at that moment.
Have you ever been there before?
Well, let me just tell you now that your disdain for being alone is not wrong or uncommon. Our very own Creator desires for us to have community and relationship. When we look back at the beginning of time in Genesis 2:18, He says that it is not good for (wo)man to be alone. Although Adam was in the garden surrounded by animals, he still did not have his own suitable match (Genesis 2:23-24). God recognized that and made some things happen.
God wants companionship for us. But more than Him wanting our void of loneliness to be filled with human company, He wants us to fill that place with Him first.
I once heard of single women who would say they were going on a “date night with Jesus”. I found the concept to be so ridiculous when it was first introduced to me, but now it doesn’t sound so bad. Now if you’re feeling how I felt...don’t stop reading this! Hear me out!
When you’re sitting at a table with two chairs, but it’s just you, allow that empty seat to be representative of the One who never forgets and never leaves (Hebrews 13:5). Now, I’m not saying you have to order a meal and talk out loud because that just may seem more of having an imaginary friend. But what I am saying is, it is imperative that we learn to enjoy the presence of God in our single state. Before Eve stepped on the scene, Adam was in the full presence of God in a land of paradise. Yes, he had to work the land, but he was also able to bask in the fullness of the Father.
Can you honestly say that you’re able to do that? I’m still growing in this area, personally, but I find it to be so fulfilling as I grow. Staying in God’s presence will do you so much good when you’re a party of one sitting at a table for two. Being fully immersed in Him and His Spirit is a transformational experience that will mold you into all you need to be prior to the filling of that seat at the table (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Do not be deceived. Do not be afraid. In today’s world, it takes great strength to wait on God’s timing. More importantly, it takes a willing heart. Everything around us tells us to take matters into our own hands. They’ll tell you that time is running out so you need to act now. But that is not how God operates. We have to let go of the ways of this world and allow our minds to be changed so that we can be changed (Romans 12:2).
The sooner we’re able to see God in that empty chair, the easier it will be for us to be with ourselves. Why? Because we’ll have confidence that we aren’t alone no matter how it looks to others.
What God wants us to have will come in His timing (Ecclesiastes 3:1). So, are you willing to wait at the table even though the server keeps bothering you? Or...are you going to make yourself grow impatient by continuously checking the time and constantly asking “where is so and so and why aren’t they here yet”?
If you don’t have to, don’t get up from that table. Bask in the presence of God. Get to know Him which will afford you to get to know yourself better.
If you get up too soon, you may just miss what he was going to fill.