"No one ever invites me to do anything." I lay in bed last night and said those words to my husband. For probably the 127th time in our marriage. Bless his heart. He takes me seriously every time I pour out that lament, even though he surely knows it isn't true.
People do invite me to do things. I'm having lunch with a dear friend today because she suggested we get together this week. And just moments before she and I closed our deal for lunch, another friend had encouraged me to call her soon so we could put something on the calendar.
Still, when I'm lonely and feeling a little insecure, it seems to me that no one invites me to do anything.
Honestly, I've discovered that even if my days are full of lunches and outings with other people, I can still feel as though I'm missing out on something. Even with a full calendar, my heart can ache with that mysterious longing.
We long to be included in someone else's plans. We love to be invited to come along for the ride. "Come..." There's just something lovely about someone else asking you to join them for something, whether it be a meal, an outing, or a project. The invitation says more than "You're Invited!" It says, "You're worthy, you're delightful, you're wanted."
This morning in my devotional reading Max Lucado reminded me that come is one of God's favorite words, too. I love to hear it...and He loves to say it.
My love calls to me: Arise, my darling. Come away, my beautiful one.
Song of Songs 2:10
"Come, let us discuss this," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool."
"Come, everyone who is thirsty, come to the waters;
and you without money, come, buy, and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost!"
"Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest."
"Come!" He said. And climbing out of the boat,
Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus.
Then Jesus said to His disciples,
"If anyone wants to come with Me,
he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me."
"If you want to be perfect," Jesus said to him, "go,
sell your belongings and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow Me."
He said to them, "Come away by yourselves
to a remote place and rest for a while."
Jesus, however, invited them:
"Let the little children come to Me,
and don't stop them, because the kingdom of God
belongs to such as these."
When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him,
"Zacchaeus, hurry and come down because today
I must stay at your house."
"Go call your husband," He told her,
"and come back here."
On the last and most important day of the festival,
Jesus stood up and cried out,
"If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink!"
After He said this, He shouted with a loud voice,
"Lazarus, come out!"
God invited Noah to go sailing with Him on unchartered waters. He invited Abraham to journey with Him to an unknown land. He asked Mary to parent His Son with Him. And every day God invites you and me to trust Him as we take His hand and step out in faith as well.
Jesus invited His disciples to follow Him and become fishers of men. He invited the rich young ruler to sell everything and depend on Him alone. He invited the weary to rest in Him, the hungry to eat from Him and the frightened to pray with Him. And every day Jesus invites you and me to find everything we need in Him alone as well.
"Come to Me," He says. "I will give you peace; I will be your rest; I am your hope; I will heal your wounds and diseases; I will make you clean; I will give your life purpose; I will be your refuge. Come."
God invites you because He loves you, because He is committed to you, because He delights in you. He doesn't invite you out of obligation or because He has nothing better to do. He longs for you to come to Him...come with Him.
Do you hear His invitation? If you don't, maybe it's because you haven't opened it. Like a little personally addressed card that is lost in the pile of junk mail sitting on your counter, your Bible waits to be opened. And when you do put everything else aside and open that ancient book you'll find His tender and passionate invitation. It's written on every page. "Come."
Today I encourage you to allow the warmth of that invitation to wrap around you like a sweet embrace. If you, like me, are feeling a little lonely, lift your gaze and look into the eyes of the One who is patiently extending His welcoming hand to you. Allow the longing in His eyes to pull the corners of your mouth into a smile, and say, "Yes."
Friend, Jesus loves you so much. And He longs to draw you close. Will you allow Him to?
Labels: Jesus, loneliness