He Satisfies Completely
By Virginia Brandt Berg
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I chose John 16:32 for our meditation today. It’s Jesus speaking. He says, “Ye shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.”
I believe every single Christian can say, “You can leave me alone, others can leave me alone, and yet I’m not alone, for the Father is with me.”
I mentioned some years ago how many letters we receive from people who are lonely. There are two burdens expressed in these letters, more than any other kind of distress or burden, and that’s sickness and loneliness. Our verse today deals with the latter.
There are people who may have an abundance of everything and have folks all around them, and yet they are living in utter loneliness. I told you some time ago the story about a young man in a hotel in Los Angeles who was planning to take his life. He was going to leap from the hotel window, but as he stepped up on the table, he knocked the Gideon’s Bible off. That happened as he was moving toward his objective of jumping out the window. When the Bible fell, it opened; and curious to see just where it had opened, he read this same verse. “Ye shall leave me alone: yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.”
His wife had left him and his friends had forsaken him, and that verse seemed like a direct message from Jesus to him. He sat down then, holding the Bible, and he read those words over and over, “I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” Then he turned to the back of the Bible and looked up other passages about the Father. Well, the story ends beautifully, because both his life and his soul were miraculously saved!
In thinking about this, a poem comes to mind:
Is the midnight closing round you?
Are the shadows dark and long?
Ask Jesus to come close beside you,
And He’ll give you a new, sweet song.
And He’ll give it and sing it with you;
And when weakness lets it down,
He’ll take up the broken cadence
And blend it with His own.
I like the part that says, “He’ll give it and sing it with you … and blend it with His own.” The Lord Jesus Christ will be present in every avenue of your life. This is His promise. He’ll guide you, and He’ll live His life through you. He’ll blend it with His own. Isn’t it wonderful? Today’s verse, John 16:32, is true, and we can claim it for ourselves.
This story about this young man leads me to think of something that happened in my life some time ago. I had lost my loved one. I was very lonely at first, but never the kind of loneliness that the world talks about. Ours was a long companionship of 54 years, and then suddenly the ties were broken and that partnership was there no longer.
But the kind of loneliness the world experiences, I’ve never known since the Lord Jesus Christ came into my heart, because He is always there. And I always feel His presence.
That’s one kind of loneliness—when loved ones are taken away and the heart and the home seem somewhat empty, but there’s also the loneliness of old age.
I don’t think there’s necessarily more loneliness in old age than at any other time, because after all, young people away from home and among strangers get mighty lonely and homesick; they can get so homesick that sometimes they’re ill. But it is hard when your life companion is gone and old friends have passed away.
One day in the launderette when I was trying to write a letter, a very talkative elderly lady was pouring out her heart and her life story to a woman by her side. Later I said to this listening friend, “Your friend surely enjoyed talking to you.” And she answered, “Well, she’s so lonely and she has no one to talk to. I thought I could do just a little good by being a good listener until she emptied out her heart. She was so lonely.” Sometimes it’s a wonderful thing just to be a good listener for some lonely heart.
There is also the loneliness of leadership. There are leaders who, because of being true to their convictions, are being rejected and ridiculed. Jesus knew this rejection, for John 6:66 tells us: “Many of his disciples went back and walked with him no more.” That’s the loneliness of being misunderstood.
Then there’s the loneliness of defeat, like Elijah under the juniper tree, when he wished he could die. He was certainly lonely. He was being pursued and rejected. (See 1 Kings 19:3–4.) There are many other kinds of loneliness; it can happen to almost anyone.
There’s such a deep longing in every heart to be understood, and to have someone share your interests and help solve your problems and sympathize with you; someone who can enter into your joys and triumphs, your sorrows and defeats.
Perhaps you wonder why there is this deep craving, this intense longing to have someone who fully understands you. Perhaps you might question why no human being can ever fully understand you; no living mortal seems to be able to enter into the deepest recesses of your mind, heart, and soul. There always seems to be a locked door where no one can ever enter but yourself.
If this is true, it’s because God has made us that way. He made us a living soul that only He can fully understand, and only He can enter into that closest companionship.
We’re His masterpieces, and do you think He would leave us with some void in our makeup that can’t be filled? No, He’s made provision for that hunger also. He’s given provision for all the hungers in our life: bread for the body, knowledge for the mind, love for the heart. Is the soul to be unsatisfied? Think about it a moment. Would God leave the soul of man to be unsatisfied? Ah, no!
This longing for true understanding is to be fulfilled, and that’s one of the biggest parts of God’s plan. He knew that when man would find human love and sympathy so lacking, then he’d turn to divine love and sympathy for fulfillment when he could find fulfillment nowhere else. It’s God Himself who is the answer; He’s the only true fulfillment. He feels the longing, and He’ll fully satisfy, if you’ll give Him a chance!
God made you for Himself, and not until He fills your life will you be free from loneliness. When He fills your life, you’ll never have the same kind of loneliness again. He knew that this sense of isolation, of not being understood, would drive you to Himself. Only God Himself can ever fill your soul. God’s Word says, “Christ is your satisfying portion” (Lamentations 3:24). God made you that way, so that only He could fill your soul. He will satisfy every longing of your heart. Oh, this is true! It’s real!
Millions are testifying that they never found satisfaction until they found Jesus Christ. God is great enough and big enough to fill any soul, and give complete companionship and ideal, perfect friendship. He is God, and the lack that you feel, this incompleteness, is the cry of your soul for Him.
To the Christian I would say that God’s Word stands true, and if you’re lonely, draw closer to the Satisfying Portion. “Christ, your satisfying portion.” You have wonderful promises in God’s Word, with God Himself backing them up with His power, His truth, and His love.
I would say to the one who doesn’t know Him, let Him come into your lonely heart. Then you can say, as Jesus said, “I’m not alone; the Father is with me” (John 16:32). He’s your Father, your heavenly Father. Why not turn your lonely heart to Him?
This is His way of drawing you to Him. It’s a manifestation of His love and His longing for you. He’s yearning, in deep sympathy and understanding, for your companionship. If you make friends with the Lord Jesus Christ now, you’ll never have the same desperate loneliness again!
Give Him a chance! Let Him come into your heart, and you will share the wonderful companionship that He offers to you. Open your heart and turn your whole life over to Him, so He can come in and utterly fill any emptiness there.
From a transcript of a Meditation Moments broadcast, adapted. Published on Anchor January 2024. Read by Debra Lee.