High atop a office building in Manhattan is a sign which points the way to Imalone Wisconsin…934 miles essentially northeast from Manhattan.
The story goes it was a lighthearted moment of the billboard advertising company that had a break between businesses that wanted to use the sign so they found an interesting name for a town and figured the distance and it was so popular they didn’t take it down.
Yes Imalone is recognized by Map Quest proof that it truly exists. Where did the name come from?
A fellow named snowball ANDERSON built a gas station many years ago in this logging region. One day he was out of town and left the business in the care of an old timer named Bill Granger.
A salesman came by and needed and invoice signed and the name of the place filled in. Bill just shrugged his shoulders and said ”I’m alone” meaning there was no one to ask . the salesman wrote “I’m a lone and name the area .
There are times we all feel alone- certainly Paul did.
May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.
And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The reference to Paul’s first Roman trial and imprisonment (Acts 28), which resulted in the apostle’s release (2 Tim 4:17), subsequent mission work including his work in Crete and new work in Ephesus, The emphasis, however, is on the strength, support, and rescue that the Lord provides.
Paul’s experience thus offers an object lesson for Timothy, who was earlier urged to rely on the power and strength of God. So what are we to do?
Here is the secret. Here is how you handle those times when you have been abandoned. Listen to the words of Paul once again and then I want to break it down for you. Paul says, “At my trial, no one came to my support, everyone deserted me.”
Now notice the next three things. “May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength. So, that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the gentiles might hear it.“
Did you catch the three secrets:
He forgives those who deserted him? He draws his strength from the Lord who does not abandon us. And, he continued to proclaim the gospel. To help people and lift them out of their sins.
Dr. Karl Menninger, the famous American psychiatrist, once gave a lecture on mental health & was answering questions from the audience. He stood outside the class room and threw pebbles against the windows. Finally, the principal went outside and confronted the boy and said, “Why are you throwing pebbles against the windows?” The little boy said, “I just wanted everyone to know that I am still here.”
One man asked, “What would you advise a person to do if that person felt a nervous breakdown coming on?” Everyone there expected him to answer, “Consult a psychiatrist.”
To their astonishment he replied: Leave your house, go across the railroad tracks, find someone who is in need, and do something to help that person. The best treatment for loneliness is reaching out across the silence and helping a person in need.
Neither fame nor fortune or walls are high enough, to keep out the ghosts of loneliness.
The king of rock-n-roll, Elvis Presley, sang a famous song, “Are you lonesome tonight?” and apparently he was.
Just before he died, he wrote on a note these words, “I feel so alone sometimes. The night is quiet for me. I’d love to be able to sleep. I’ll probably not rest. I have no need for all this. Help me Lord.”
Understand there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. You can be alone without being lonely.
As a matter of fact, there are times we need to be alone. You cannot have a walk with God without being alone with God.
You can also be lonely without being alone. You can be in a crowd of thousands of people and still feel very lonely.
We have more people living in America today than the entire earth had just two thousand years ago.
If loneliness could be cured just by the presence of people, there wouldn’t be any loneliness, but people are still lonely.
There is a reason for that. Loneliness is not the absence of faces. It is the absence of fellowship.
Loneliness doesn’t come from being alone, it comes from feeling alone.
If you feel like you are facing life alone, or death alone, or disease alone, or even health alone, you can feel very lonely.
There is no feeling quite like it, because we all want somebody to know we are here and to care that we are here.
He stood outside the class room and threw pebbles against the windows. Finally, the principal went outside and confronted the boy and said, “Why are you throwing pebbles against the windows?”
The little boy said, “I just wanted everyone to know that I am still here.”
Do you know what? We all carry pebbles in our pockets. We all want people to know that we are “still here.”
One of the reasons why it is not good to be lonely is because it causes great psychological damage.
It is estimated that 80% of the people who seek psychiatric help come primarily because of feelings associated with loneliness.
It is one of the top two major contributing causes of suicide, particularly among teenagers.
How to deal with loneliness and feel good about being alone.
a. Reject the Pity Party
b. Realize God Is With You
Paul is here in prison and he says in verse 16, “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me.” (II Timothy 4:16, NKJV)
Was he ever lonely! Continue to read what he said, “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.” (II Timothy 4:17, NKJV)
WHEN YOU ARE ALONE AND YOU ARE ASKING YOURSELF THE QUESTION, “WHERE IS GOD?”
I’VE GOT GOOD NEWS FOR YOU.
HE IS WHERE HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN ,RIGHT BESIDE YOU. GOD IS WITH YOU WHETHER YOU FEEL IT OR NOT.
ONE OF THE WAYS THAT GOD USES LONELINESS IN YOUR LIFE IS TO FORCE YOU TO FOCUS ON THE ONLY ONE WHO IS WITH YOU.
AMY GRANT USED TO SING A SONG THAT SAID, “I LOVE A LONELY DAY BECAUSE IT FORCES ME TO FOCUS ON YOU.”
PRAYER AND PRAISE ARE POWERFUL ANTIDOTES TO THE ILLNESS OF LONELINESS, BECAUSE GOD HAS A 24 HOUR DROP IN SERVICE.
YOU DON’T NEED AN APPOINTMENT AND THERE IS NO WAITING LINE. YOU CAN TALK TO HIM ANYTIME YOU WANT TO, IN ANY PLACE, AND FOR ANY REASON.
In Paul’s darkest hour of deepest loneliness, God reminded him that he still could be used to touch other’s lives and that there were other lives that needed to be touched.
I want to say it again.
The loneliest person in the world is the person who is wrapped up in himself.
The key to overcoming loneliness is to stop building walls and start building bridges.
Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly.” (Proverbs 18:24, NKJV)
There is one other type of loneliness that we all have to deal with because we were born with it. It is called spiritual loneliness.
A FEW YEARS AGO, I WAS ON AN AIRPLANE AND I MET A LADY BY THE NAME OF ALMA WATSON.
SHE WAS AN ELDERLY LADY AND A WONDERFUL CHRISTIAN.
WE STRUCK UP A CONVERSATION AND SHE TOLD ME WHEN SHE WAS SIXTEEN YEARS OLD, SHE BECAME PREGNANT.
SHE WAS ABOUT TO BECOME AN UNWED MOTHER AND THIS WAS BACK IN THE DAYS WHEN IT WAS A SHAMEFUL THING.
SHE WAS DESERTED BY ALL OF HER FRIENDS, OSTRACIZED BY THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED AROUND HER, AND SHE BECAME A SOCIAL OUTCAST.
SHE FELT SO ALONE. SHE TOLD ME THAT SHE WAS CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE ONE DAY AND A VOICE SPOKE TO HER OUT OF THE BLUE AND SAID, “ALMA, YOU ARE NOT ALONE IF YOU HAVE ME.”
SHE SAID THAT VOICE REPEATED ITSELF SEVERAL TIMES, “YOU ARE NOT ALONE IF YOU HAVE ME.”
She then looked at me and said, “Jerry, that has been over fifty years ago that I realized as long as I know my connection to God, I am not alone.”
May you know you are never alone
Be a Miracle