In summer our garden boasted numbers of fledglings that were a constant delight. From choosing a species-suitable nesting place and gathering nest-building materials, we marvelled at the effort and commitment the parent birds made to build and to feed their young. It seemed to be a never-ending demand. We had blue tits, blackbirds, robin and wren babies.
Now it is winter, and the garden is inhabited by fewer birds. We see different birds flitting through looking for food, but none appear to be resident apart from the robin. This little chap looks beautiful but is, in fact, extremely bossy and aggressive in defending what he believes to be his territory. There is plenty of food for the other visitors, but no, the robin chooses to see them all off while he struts around claiming his ground. He won’t willingly share any of the food we provide. So, he remains alone, guarding his patch and looking after himself to the exclusion of the rest of the hungry birds.
Of course, this is the natural order of things, but it reminded me that we can so easily push folk away, simply to protect ourselves. How often have we heard a Christian say that they are OK being alone with God and that they don’t need other people?
There are lots of reasons why we may choose to be alone. Do we push people away out of hurt, fear or pain? Maybe we feel ‘safer’ to be alone so that we do not open up ourselves to be hurt again, if that has been our experience. Has our trust in others been betrayed? Are we fearful of others? Perhaps we never had very much that we could call our own. It may be that we want to keep for ourselves whatever it is we are defending.
Scripture teaches us that we were not created to be alone. Of course, if we belong to Jesus, we know that we are never separated from Him, because He has promised never to leave or forsake us, but God gave Adam Eve, because He saw that ‘it was not good’ for him to be alone (Genesis 2:18). God created us to become part of a family, and as we have our natural families, so also, we have our brothers and sisters in Christ, as part of God’s family. God made us for relationship with Himself and with one another. Jesus said, ‘This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends’ (John 15:12-13).
We are not created to be independent of one another, but to be dependent on God and to follow the example Jesus gave us. In addition, Paul helps us to understand the outworking of love in fellowship, ‘Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another’ (Romans 12:10). It may not be easy, but we can ask God to help us.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the price You paid in laying down Your life for us. Thank You that You have promised never to leave or forsake us. Please forgive us for isolating ourselves and help us to trust that You will help us to reach out to others. Please give us Your heart to enable us to be willing to put others first and to love unconditionally. Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.