I was thinking about John being exiled to Patmos this morning. If you haven't yet read the Bible, John was the "beloved" disciple of Jesus, and Patmos was where the Roman Empire exiled him to for preaching Jesus. All the rest of Jesus disciples were killed, one committed suicide, but John was left all alone on an island. It may seem like John was spared, however, in all actuality the disciples that were killed, were instantly reunited with Christ. John had to live isolated and wait for old age to reunite him. It's like watching the History Channels Season of "Alone" having to survive with only the provisions of God available on the island, with temperatures typically ranging from 54-81 degrees, until John was the age of around 94. Either way, God has a plan regardless of the outcome, and John was never alone. John wrote the entire book of Revelation, while talking directly to Jesus on the isolated island of Patmos.
I look back on moments in my life where I felt isolated, alone, dark, worthless, and hopeless. Now I can see, what I couldn't then, what God was doing in my life. He is absolutely amazing and handles each person delicately, with lessons catered specifically for your own heart. You might be able to relate to others, but God targets your needs delicately and specifically to heal you in the only way you can be healed.
By Trusting Him....
I have a tendency to put people on pedestals, way above myself. I don't have trouble looking down to people, I have trouble looking up. I've never had to worry about lifting people up, they were already up there. I was the maggot on the floor waiting for a drop of bread crumb. I could give you numerous reasons that this was the way I perceived life, but I did. A lot of my time was spent asking God how to fix hurts in my life that my mouth would utter in tears and pain. I didn't know how to reach the place that everyone else was. They were out of my reach, well at least that's what my perspective thought. Until I began to get to know these pedestal people. They were flawed, just like me. But somehow, they didn't show it as well. Perhaps they didn't care about their flaws, perhaps they did but couldn't let anyone see it due to pride, perhaps it was simply my perspective, or perhaps they did what needed to be done.
They Trusted Him....
God did put me, in essence, on the island of Patmos. It was painful for awhile, lonely, dark, depressing, frustrating, like being in a padded room with the deafening sounds of silence. Silence...silence...until I heard the whisper of Christ. It was amazing, now, I'm not talking about hearing voices. I only heard God audibly one time...it was when I was going to take my own life, but meaning hearing God, like from the inside. It's hard to articulate, unless you've heard it, because you don't really "hear it" but it's the voice of hope, of love, of instruction. At that moment, my perspective changed. I am alone, a lot, meaning minus people, but it provides me an opportunity to be with God in the Garden, just Him and I.
I've learned that people don't belong on pedestals. They don't want to be there. Even people that put themselves there don't want to be there. They are so afraid of making a mistake in front of others that they have to live a life of constant anxiety. They have to lie, boast, shut people out and cut others down. When we put others on pedestals, we put them on false expectations they can never measure up to. Through my time on the "island of Patmos" I've learned how to be at peace with being alone. I've learned how to stand in Christ. I've learned how to not compare myself to others and to be the person God created me to be. Looking back, although it was lonely, I now see it as beautiful, and beautifully orchestrated.
There is only one who sits on a thrown. His name is Jesus and he is worthy of our trust. He is the Lamb of God who takes away our sin and makes us alive again.