Jackie's Journey "Jolly Jungle Christmas!"

 This tree stands alone on the bank of the river Pucuro, at the bottom of the trail behind our house... 

This tree stands alone on the bank of the river Pucuro, at the bottom of the trail behind our house... 

Years ago, buried in the remote jungles of Panama and a week or so before our first Christmas interior, I experienced what could only be called…loneliness.  It’s true we were isolated, our village was secluded at the top of the river Pucuro headwaters; yet, even now, I look back and am amazed at the phenomenon because we lived in a small village and I knew the name of every family, their children’s names, and all their aunts and uncles!  There were people in my house and my business every minute of every day.  I had two little girls and lots of activities with the mothers and women of the village all the time.  There were very few uninterrupted moments in a day.  Lonely...what…really?

What was wrong with me?

Being lonely in a crowd isn’t new.  The holidays certainly foster opportunity for these unwelcome “feelings.”   Ann Kiemel wrote, “People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.”   It was eye opening to realize my wrong focus had built a wall between God and I and my self-focus had taken center stage…again!

I had been “commissioned by God for a life of good worksand I had lost sight of His vision for me.  True contentment involves surrendering to the words aptly spoken by Jonathan Edwards, “I go out to preach with two propositions in mind.  First, everyone ought to give his life to Christ.  Second, whether or not anyone gives Him his life, I will give Him mine.”  Contentment is realizing God has provided everything I need for my present happiness.  I Tim. 6: 8  (Gothard)

Every woman’s work is a portrait of herself.” Anonymous

If you would make a woman happy, don’t add to her possessions but subtract from the sum of her desires. Teach her to live with less, not more!  Apples of Gold   I don’t think loneliness would qualify as a possession…or would it?  The opposite of loneliness is companionship. I certainly had my share of companionship!  I had found God to be my all in that little village on the Colombian border.  Not, Christ, plus my need for someone to fill my loneliness!  Or Christ, plus______  (you fill in the blank) 

It is Christ, plus nothing…He is all or He is nothing!.

 “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. ”Phil. 4: 11  Christ is enough to satisfy the hearts of all who confide in Him and who leave everything in His hands regardless of the circumstance.

“A Christian asked another how he was getting along.  Dolefully, his friend replied, ‘Oh, fairly well, under the circumstances.’  ‘I’m sorry’, exclaimed the other, ‘that you are under the circumstances’.

The Lord would have us living above all circumstances, where He Himself can satisfy our hearts and meet our every need for time and eternity.”  H. A. Ironside    He is all we need!  He alone can satisfy our thirst for whatever it is that we are seeking apart from Him.  What did I need other than Him and the fullness of His companionship!  He was the only one that could fill that loneliness. 

What had I been thinking!

Loneliness was my gift that Christmas and it became my friend.  Whenever it reared its ugly head and started building a wall between God and I, red flags flared up and it became my signal to pray for someone that I knew needed Him.  Satan hated that!   He would withdraw that temptation and run. Developing my prayer life was not in his plan! That Christmas I learned one of the most valuable disciplines of my Christian life.  Loneliness was not my enemy; it was my cue to pray and in doing so I began to use Satan for God’s glory!

Whatever your circumstance this holiday season, 

take the temptation to feel left-out, forgotten, over-looked, displaced……

and

Prayerfully seek Him

by instantly pursuing Him in petition for a lost person!

Watch Satan run…guaranteed!

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

Romans 8:37

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~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights.