Moments of Isolation
Do you ever feel isolated? If so, how do you handle isolation? Do you have people to turn to in times of real crisis?
Let's explore this topic together in today's devotional:
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'” — Matthew 27:46
At times, the entrepreneur’s journey is lonely. In fact, while pursuing their vision, most entrepreneurs find themselves on paths that leave them feeling isolated. Often, they perceive they have no one to turn to in moments of crises. They feel misunderstood and even forsaken by members of their team, family and friends. This can result in an emotional withdrawal – by themselves to their very own "island." There may be people all around them - but they STILL feel all alone.
Picture Jesus Christ. He left His family to pursue His calling and claimed His disciples as His new family. After spending three years pouring His life into the disciples, they denied Him and rejected Him when He most needed them.
"But all this was done so that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled." — Matthew 26:56
On the cross, Jesus faced the most critical point of His earthly assignment - when He had to die for the sin of the entire world. He felt forsaken by His Father. This was the loneliest moment of His ministry. He did not feel the presence of the One who called Him and the One on whom He had depended on throughout His ministry.
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' That is,' My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?'” — Matthew 27:46
What did He do? He had to persevere through; He had to endure because on the other side there was a great reward. If He could just pass through this death channel, if He could just survive this moment He knew He would be awarded the grand prize. He would complete His assignment. He did and He does. Today we are all overcome with gratitude that He did. He survived His moment of isolation - all alone; without His family, without His disciples, and feeling forsaken by His father. He persevered, and as a result you and I are the beneficiaries of that perseverance. Now, He sits next to the Father.
"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." — Philippians 2:9-11
Have you had a moment like that in your journey? Of course you have. As an entrepreneur or leader it is inevitable. These are the times when you feel alone, isolated, and misunderstood. You feel as though no one is with you or for you – except you. You feel in your gut that you have made the right choices. Sure, you’ve made mistakes and have "course corrected," but you are still paying the price of those mistakes. You may have misunderstandings with your partner, issues with employees, problems with investors or perhaps the bank is no longer willing to provide the capital you need. Vendors may no longer be willing to extend a credit line. You find yourself losing clients. Your board has lost confidence in you and so have others. Public opinion is against you.
What do you do?
Studies show that isolation and loneliness can be a cause of depression and can even lead to death. We are created to be social beings and were not designed for isolation. So if you are feeling isolated or lonely, you must address it. Here’s how:
- Call on God even if you do not feel His presence
- Seek the Holy Spirit’s wisdom
- Accept responsibility
- Seek out Godly counsel
Moments of isolation are defining moments. They help to shape your character and cause you to rely on the Lord. Know that there are two types of isolation: when you withdraw from others and when others withdraw from you. Make certain that as you face your darkest moments, you do not withdraw from others. Also remember that no matter how isolated you feel, you are never alone, because God will never leave you nor forsake you. Even if you do not feel His presence, He is always there.
“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.” — John 16:32
My prayer for you today is that God give you the grace to persevere as you face moments of isolation so that you develop a greater reliance on Him, learn to draw from your internal resources, and allow God to shape your character for His glory.
Reflection: Are you feeling isolated or lonely? Work through the 5 action items.
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Contribution by: Patrice Tsague – NPIM