Don’t Leave Me Alone with Him
Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. Genesis 7:23
I like people, but I like them in small quantities. I do great in small groups, but I struggle at big parties. It’s my own personal nightmare to be made to mingle and make small talk in a crowded room. Years ago, I remember being in one such situation, where I ended up alone in a corner with another introvert. There was no animosity between us. We just didn’t have anything to say to each other. It was painfully awkward to be left alone with someone else who was as bad at small talk as I was. Neither of us knew how to gracefully extricate ourselves from the situation, so we just stood there, looking at each other, both wishing our wives would save us. Don’t ever leave me alone with him again.
I’ve felt similarly about God – not wanting to be alone with him. I know there’s always forgiveness when I fail, but when I fail repeatedly, refusing to change, I also realize that I’m not being repentant. While I’m consciously defying God, there’s no welcome-home-hug. It’s just me, turning my back on God because I don’t want to look him in the face. In this condition, I don’t want to be alone with God because his light painfully exposes my darkness.
Now, in recovery, I get up early every morning, setting aside the first hour of my day to spend with God. I’m not a super-Christian. I’ve just realized that I like my life infinitely more when I’m comfortable being alone with God. I do still find myself engaging in thoughts or behaviors that alienate me from him at times. I’m not using drugs, but still, I must daily do what it takes to abandon any evil that comes between God and me.
I imagine Noah must have been comfortable being alone with God. Noah had his family on the ark with him, but other than that, he was profoundly alone in the world. In following God though, Noah was never truly alone. Being obedient to the father, he enjoyed an intimate relationship with God that carried him through the worst of human catastrophes. With God, Noah was never alone.
We too, can experience this. If we desire, we can live in a very real, intimate relationship with the father. Often though, we depend entirely on human relationships for our joy, purpose, and meaning. We’re meant to enjoy human relationships, but people can and will disappoint us, leaving us alone. With God though, we’re never alone, which can be a terrifying or comforting thought, depending on the condition of our relationship with him. That daily choice is totally up to us.