“[The Lord] has sent me to . . . those who grieve . . . to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. ” -Isaiah 61:1, 3 (NIV)
In many ways, being in prison is hard. Nevertheless, whenever I am asked what is most difficult to deal with, the answer readily comes to mind. It is not the cold steel bars, the imposing stone walls, or the peril behind them. It is the separation from family, the abandonment by friends, and the despairing heart. It is loneliness that truly imprisons us.
I will not be released from prison any time soon. However, I am managing some measure of liberation from the duress of loneliness. I’ve changed what I can — my attitude. Doing so has led me to see and experience things differently, to see and experience the goodness that God compassionately offers. Whether we are behind prison walls or the closed doors of our home, loneliness can be the most difficult challenge any of us ever has to face.
Even though we may not be able to change or control our outward circumstance, the Bible tells us we can change our attitude toward our situation. Having the “mind of Christ” (See Phil. 2:5.) will change our life today — and all our tomorrows.
Charles P. Axe (Pennsylvania, USA)
Dear God, whenever and wherever we are lonely, grant us assurance that you are near us. Amen.
|Thought for the DayChange starts from within — with help from above.|