The greatest glories and challenges of my life have always come in the place of relationships. My hottest tears, my hardest laughters, my insecurities and greatest moments of triumphs – all laced around a relationship or two. In such moments, I find myself very strong or very vulnerable, but I have never come to the conclusion that I would rather be alone for the rest of my life and have no connection whatsoever; actually, the times when such thoughts have crossed my mind, I have always known it was the enemy trying to isolate me so he can strike hard.
Many times, we run away from our connections with others because relationships are hard work. From the beginning of time, humans have struggled to live together in harmony, and when people have issues, they are more likely to take it out on other people – so, yes, humans are hard to deal with.
But you’ve probably heard the saying “No man is an island”. God created us to have meaningful relationships, beginning with the one we have with Him. If that wasn’t the case, He would have left Adam all alone in the garden, and stayed away from Him too. But God created Eve, and would come down to spend some time with them in the garden of Eden: that’s the greatest evidence for His desire for us to have meaningful relationships. Even the most introverted of introverts cannot do life alone, no matter how socially awkward they think they are.
The devil loves to isolate us, and in that isolation, he is able to manipulate us freely. I believe he isolated Eve to get her to disobey God. He isolated Cain enough to get him to kill his brother, and he managed to isolate Judas from the rest of the eleven and made a betrayer out of him. Jesus, on the other hand, valued relationships and knew how hard a job it would be to keep one. He valued connections so much that on the cross, he handed his mum over to someone he knew who would look out for her.
Yes, we have been broken and we have been burnt by relationships we have had, and if we decide to dwell on that, we will stay isolated, and feel even more unloved.
Yes, not everyone will fancy you; you’re certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but God has created a place for you to fit, a community for you to thrive, someone to love you, and all you have to do is open up. When the devil tries to put in your face those who would have nothing to do with you, remind him that you are loved by the Father of life itself. When he brings to your memory those who say they hate you, remind him that it was love for you that held Jesus on that cross.
Now step out without fear and allow into your heart those the Lord has sent to care for you. It does take work and there are loads of risks. but building meaningful relationships will bring you to the better side of who you really are, the part you’ll never discover if you decide to do life all alone.