Joni and Friends Blog
The Spiritual World is Watching
Loneliness is a very deep kind of suffering.
Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada, and loneliness can sometimes makes you feel as though you’re suffering for nothing, right? That’s a tragedy! ’Cause if we get the feeling that our Christian witness makes absolutely no difference to anyone around us, it can turn you inward, feeling that you have no purpose; that your life has no meaning.
And if ever there were a person whose suffering seemed to be for nothing – a person who was physically and emotionally isolated – it was my friend Denise. She was my Christian roommate, long ago in the rehab center I lived in for one year. A strange neuromuscular disease left Denise blind and completely paralyzed. Lying motionless in her hospital bed all day, this young woman was extremely isolated. Even when she sat up in a wheelchair back then, they had no program of occupational therapy for someone like her, blind and paralyzed. She just sat there parked by the side of her bed all day listening to her tape recorder. For the most part, Denise had no connection with other people, except a nurse who would occasionally check in on her, or infrequent visits from her mother who had to take the cross-town bus to see her. Late in the afternoon I’d come upstairs from physical therapy, and there she’d be still sitting by her bed. But was she lonely? No. Because for one thing, Denise never complained. She always had a warm greeting for me and the rest of her roommates coming up from PT.
Plus, Denise knew she really wasn’t alone. Someone she knew was benefiting from her Christian witness. She knew that God and the whole spiritual world – angels and demons – were observing her perseverance and endurance. What’s more, she knew the angels and demons were benefiting from it. The Bible makes clear that the spiritual world is intensely interested in the thoughts and affections of every human being. Angels actually get emotionally excited when we trust and obey God – just read Luke chapter 15. Then there’s Ephesians 3:10. That verse proves the spiritual world has its eyes upon us. I mean, listen to it. Because it says God’s intent is that now, through Christians, his “manifold wisdom should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
That was Denise’s verse. God uses the way he works in our lives to actually teach the angels and demons about how wise and powerful he is. So, Denise was not about to complain; ’cause she knew she wasn’t alone. And neither are you. Maybe some people around you don’t care about your life, but a great many “someones” are actually watching you with great fascination – the entire spiritual world is itching to see if God’s sustaining grace really is all that “sustaining” in your life. They’re curious as to how you’ll respond to trials and temptations. Because your response teaches them how great God really is; they can see it in your life. Friend, your reactions to trials are on display for millions of unseen beings. Little wonder God wants us to trust and obey him when – no, especially when – you’re alone.
I share Denise’s story and others like it in my booklet “No Longer Alone,” and I would love to give you your copy today. Pass it on to a friend who may be feeling lonely. It’s yours for the asking at joniradio.org.
© Joni and Friends
No Longer Alone
Sorrow, loneliness and grief are a part of the human experience, now more than ever before. In the 14-page pamphlet “No Longer Alone,” Joni Eareckson Tada weaves personal stories with the truth of Scripture. If you are suffering the pain of isolation and long for intimate friendships, be encouraged by Joni’s practical help and hope that will point you to Jesus.