Last month, in our college, we had a personal growth workshop and I took part in it. In the first session we were asked to introduce ourselves and give a brief description about who we were. The very first line that came into my mind about myself was – ‘I am a nomad. A wanderer.’ coz all my life I have been moving from one place to another. From Bihar to Jharkhand to Coimbatore, from Kerala to Kolkata, from Shillong to Chennai...... and within a month I will be moving out of Chennai to don’t know where. But no matter where I went, no matter how unfamiliar the place, food, culture may be, no matter if I didn’t have a single friend or relative, I never felt alone. Coz I knew the loving God was with me wherever I went. He was, is and will be the only one who would be with me always no matter what. No wonder the psalmist says:
Where could I go to escape from you? Where could I get away from your presence?
Even if I went up to heaven you would be there; if I lay in the world of the dead you would be there.
If I flew beyond the east or lived in the farthest place in the west, you would be there to lead me, you would be there to help me.” (Psalm139:5-10).
The love of our God never leaves us.
But I was not born with this attitude. Through most of my life I felt just the other way round. I would be one of those guys who would sing ‘I am so lonely’ and would really mean every word. I suffered from the ‘Why me?’ syndrome. I spent days, months and years asking – ‘God, Why me? Why do I have to go through all these problems? Why does all this happen to me? Why was I born in this family?’ There were nights I spent crying all by myself, there were times when I wouldn’t talk with anyone in my school for as long as a week, there were days when I felt I had no friend – no one to speak to, no one to share my feelings with. All this, while I could only helplessly watch my family fall apart. The daily fights, the anger, the hatred, the fear, the helplessness is all I can remember. My dad on the verge of axing me, my mom soaked in kerosene with a lit matchstick in her hand are my childhood memories. God’s love was the last thing I experienced. God was almost non-existent.
But all this changed one night when I sat before the Blessed Sacrament for Adoration. Some years ago, in a retreat, during an inner healing prayer, the preacher made us journey though our entire life – from the moment we were conceived in our mother’s womb till that very day. We had to remember all the past incidents and offer it to Jesus. As I was praying, I could see all that I have gone through, scroll right in front of my eyes – all the hurtful, painful incidents, all the fights, all the times I felt alone, crushed; I could see them all. But then I saw something special. In all these incidents I could see Jesus standing right next to me! Through all the pains I could see Him consoling me. All the moments I thought I suffered alone, I could see Him holding my hand. It was as if I was living my life once again, but this time with Jesus by my side. All these while I thought I was alone, but then, that night I realized that I was not alone. God was with me all through; each and every second. I was filled with so much of joy that I can’t explain. I just burst out in tears, tears of joy! And since then I have been singing – ‘I am not alone.’ Surely I faced problems and struggles, even bigger ones, after that night, but I never felt alone coz I felt the love of God always surround me.
Over the past few years I have learned one thing - no matter what happens in our life, nothing can separate us from the love of God. Even if you are going through the biggest struggle in your life, the love of God is right there with you. You might be struggling in your studies, or at work, or in your personal life, you might be crushed under the demands others put on you, might be absolutely clueless about your future, might be struggling to find a job, or to make friends, or to face people, you might be going through the biggest dilemma, pain, confusion in your life, you might be feeling absolutely lost, lonely, depressed, you might be chained by your sins or addictions, you might think nobody understands you, cares for you, loves you, you might be going through the deepest, darkest phase in your life. No matter how bad the situation is, don’t worry coz you are not alone, the Love of God is always there with you to guide you, to protect you, to strengthen you. That’s why St Paul says:
“For I am certain that nothing can separate us from His love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below – there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38,39)
God Loves You!