God in the Lonely Place

by Matthew Arrowood 

There is absolutely nothing more amazing in this world than friendships. True friends are there for you no matter what and never will ask for anything in return. I have been blessed with some truly wonderful friendships in my life. 

First of all, there’s Drew Mains and Spencer Null who have been my friends from as far back as I can remember. There are Ethan and Laurel, who I am very excited to see married next year, and have become the most wonderful and amazing friends during my time in college. There’s also Tirzah Olsen and Nick Shirk, who I met while working with Christians United for Israel (CUFI), who have been phenomenal friends to me from afar in California, but even from that distance has had such a wonderful impact on my life. I have truly been blessed with the most wonderful friends. But out of all those friends, there’s one I want to talk about in particular.

September 27, 2020, shortly after leaving an amazing church service I learned that my friend Quincey Coffey was in a motorcycle accident. In my ignorance of the situation I just knew that he would be ok, little did I know that he had been declared dead on arrival. Up to this point that has been the worst day of my life. The sorrow, loss, and anguish I felt I would not be able to express until days later. I didn’t understand and couldn’t comprehend why God would take him so soon. He was about to graduate from Bible college. It didn’t make any sense. Why would God take someone with so much potential so soon? In the book of Genesis chapter 37 we see a very similar circumstance where we all would have to ask God, “why?”. 

We see an amazing story of a young man named Joseph. He was favored above his other 11 brothers by his father Jacob. His father loved him and gave him a coat of many colors fit for a king to express his incredible love for his son. His brothers were jealous of their father’s love for Joseph. They plotted against him and sold him into slavery and told their father that Joseph had been killed by wild animals. Joseph was eventually elevated as a slave in the house of a man named Potiphar. He became the head slave and was in charge of the entire household. His life seemed to be going well until Potiphar‘s wife tried to convince Joseph to sleep with her. Out of his devotion to Potiphar and his love for God, Joseph refused and ran from her. Potiphar’s wife lied and told Potiphar that Joseph tried to force himself on her. Potiphar, wroth over what he had heard, put Joseph in prison where he would then be for what some historians believe over 10 years. As a young man, Joseph spent his best years in prison for something he didn’t do. Again we have to stop and ask God “why?”.

Right now I know you are facing things where you have asked God “why?”. Things like, “Why did you have to take my family member?” “Why did my father leave my mother?” “Why hasn’t God answered my prayer?” We have all asked God “why?”. 

Romans 8:28 (KJV) says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” 

When my friend Quincey died I was trying to figure out why and I was asking God, “How could this be for good?” Little did I know the plans that God had for me. 

There were things I could only tell my friend Quincey. If it was two in the morning and I had a question that I couldn’t answer he was the one I would call. We all have friends like that where we can be ourselves 100% around them and we know it will be OK. Quincey was that to me. When he died I lost that. When I had those questions I couldn’t call anymore, when I just had that something I wanted to say I couldn’t give him a text. There were too many nights I would soak my pillow with tears and look up and ask God “why?”. And like the Scripture says, I asked God and I received.

“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

Matthew 6:6 KJV

Truly there is nothing better than a friend, except for God. You see, God was trying to get me to be alone with him. Joseph was surrounded by his brothers, he was in the house of Potiphar, he had a father who loved him but God needed to be alone with him before he could do what he wanted to do in Joseph’s life. 

Joseph was torn from his home, sent into slavery, placed in the house of Potiphar, suffered in a prison where God began to orchestrate his plan in Joseph’s life. In the prison, Joseph interpreted the dreams of servants of Pharaoh himself, which eventually brought him into the house of Pharaoh where he would interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. From there he would be elevated to second in command of all Egypt, where he would have the ability to be used by God to save his family and all of the ancient world from famine which would pave the way for the creation of the nation of Israel where one day Jesus Christ, the savior of the world would be born. If Joseph had never been alone in that prison God could not have done that through him. 

“Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.”

John 13:7 KJV

You may not understand what God is doing right now, but God knows. From the very beginning of time, God has known. But you still ask God “why?”. I believe he has answered that in his word.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV

When you don’t know why, trust Him. When you can’t see past where you are now, trust Him. When you’re scared and alone, trust Him. When you’re afraid and confused, trust Him. But you may ask, “How?” 

Since the beginning of time, God has sought to be alone with you. In the beginning, he was alone with Adam walking with him every day. He called Abraham to be alone with him in the desert, Ester without parents was called to follow God alone, David was alone with God in the field and he was alone with him on the battlefield facing the giant. You won’t find God in the crowd. He won’t be the popular option. You will find God alone. But like the Scripture says… 

”…Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

Luke 2:10-11 KJV

Do not be afraid, for in God you will find a savior, in God you will find the peace that no man can give, in God you will find love, in God you will find Joy that passes all understanding, but most of all… you will find God. This world makes promises it can’t keep but God will never fail you. Don’t be afraid of being alone with God. Learn to love being in the lonely place with Jesus, there you will find what you have searched for your entire life. 

Everything in your life will change. You’ll move, you’ll get new friends, you will lose old friends, you’ll get new clothes, you’ll quit a job and get a new one, people will disappoint you. But the thing in your life that will never change, is Jesus. 

”…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Hebrews 13:5 KJV

I want to challenge you right now, find a lonely place. Go to your room, your porch, go on a drive, find a place where you can be alone with Jesus. Then, tell him everything and I promise he will answer your prayers, he will give you peace, he will provide. God will not disappoint you. The Bible says to seek, to knock, to ask and God will come. If you have a prayer you have not found the answer to, go to him right now and he’ll meet you there. But don’t stop today. Decide that today will be the beginning of a journey with God in the lonely place. Pray every day, 15 minutes, 20 minutes an hour, however long you need, every day find that time with God in the lonely place and I promise like Joseph God will change your life forever. You will find your peace, you will find joy beyond understanding, you will find love and you will find God. 

“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

Matthew 6:6 KJV

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