I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus. It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. It said, “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” Revelation 1:9-11 (NLT)
Can you see this Scripture in your mind? John has been sent to a small island in an attempt to shut him up! John is in his old age. He is the last of the Twelve. He is isolated physically and and those who have been his family and friends are gone. He is alone. Maybe you can even identify with this season of his life. Alone.
Being alone isn’t just about whether anyone is with you or not. It is a reality in which I feel I am the only one in my situation in this time and I cannot see anyone to whom I can reach with my outstretched hand – or even my smartphone.
This passage from John reports he was “worshiping in the Spirit.” John made a definitive choice to worship God. His surroundings did not draw him into worship. His feelings didn’t pull him in. He- turned to God and His Spirit was the place of John’s worship.
Two days ago, I shared some free advice – make time for God every day. Here is an account of John who has been making time for God for many, many years. His commitment did not produce a “sweet life,” did it? And yet John is worshiping God. I believe it is because God had proven Himself to John. John spent time with the LORD every day and when John suffered, whether physical or in his heart or spirit, God came near to listen and bring His healing power and comforting love to John.
In times of great pain, isolation, overwhelming burdens, and all I can do is weep and “give up,” that is exactly what I should do – give – it – ALL – up! Pour it all out of me and give it all to God. Allow Him to sift all the muck and guide me, heal me, and teach me. It is God’s love I can always, always trust when all others stumble.
Write what you see. This is what I see today: A loving LORD who will never let me down and who will never leave me. I love You, LORD!
Love Came Down written by Brian & Jenn Johnson, sung by Kari Jobe