The Cayman Islands is a wonderful place to live–white sandy beaches, clear blue seas, mild temps year round, great food–what you would expect on a tropical island. Some would even call it “paradise”. It seems idyllic, but for many, this beautiful place can be quite lonely. Most of the island is populated by ex-pats–people who work in Cayman but whose native country is elsewhere. Because of this, most people are far away from family and friends, and many find it hard to live here. Missing special birthdays, not being able to comfort or serve grieving or ill family and friends, longing for the familiar–can lead one to become very homesick. Not being with family and friends for holidays, especially Christmas, can make you feel very lonely.
I read this helpful quote from Elisabeth Elliott, and will be praying this for those who are experiencing loneliness this Christmas.
Be still and know that He is God. When you are lonely, too much stillness is exactly the thing that seems to be laying waste your soul. Use that stillness to quiet your heart before God. Get to know Him. If He is God, He is still in charge.
Remember that you are not alone. “The Lord, He it is that doth go with thee. He will not fail thee neither forsake thee. Be strong and of good courage.” (Deut. 31.8) Jesus promised His disciples, “Lo, I am with you always.” (Matt. 28:20) Never mind if you cannot feel His presence. He is there, never for one moment forgetting you.
Give thanks. In times of my greatest loneliness I have been lifted up by the promise of 2 Corinthians 4:17, 18, “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.” This is something to thank God for. This loneliness itself, which seems a weight, will be far outweighed by glory.
Refuse self-pity. Refuse it absolutely. It is a deadly thing with power to destroy you. Turn your thoughts to Christ who has already carried your griefs and sorrows.
Accept your loneliness. It is one stage, and only one stage, on a journey that brings you to God. It will not always last.
Offer up your loneliness to God, as the little boy offered to Jesus his five loaves and two fishes. God can transform it for the good of others.
Do somethings for somebody else. No matter who or where you are, there is something you can do, somebody who needs you. Pray that you may be an instrument of God’s peace that where there is loneliness you may bring joy.
“The important thing is to receive this moment’s experience with both hands. Don’t waste it. “Wherever you are, be all there,” Jim once wrote. “Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
taken from Passion & Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control by Elisabeth Elliot