The title alone sounds completely absurd, but this is exactly what Elizabeth Elliot says in her book The Path of Loneliness that has given me a whole new perspective on the loneliness of my life.
“It is possible both to accept and to endure loneliness without bitterness where there is a vision of glory beyond. This is a very different thing from the sigh of resignation or defeat, the hopeless abandonment to a malevolent fate which merely ‘sits there and takes it’. In circumstances for which there is no final answer in the world, we have two choices: accept them as God’s wise and loving choice for our blessing (this is called faith), or resent them as proof of His indifference, His carelessness, even His nonexistence (this is unbelief).
Our loneliness cannot always be fixed, but it can always be accepted as the very will of God for now, and that turns it into something beautiful. Perhaps it is like the field wherein lies the valuable treasure. We must buy the field. It is no sun-drenched meadow embroidered with wildflowers. It is a bleak and empty place, but once we know it contains a jewel the whole picture changes. The empty scrap of forgotten land suddenly teems with possibilities. Here is something we can not only accept, but something worth selling everything to buy. In my case, “selling everything” meant giving up the self-pity and the bitter questions.
I am talking about acceptance of the inevitable. And when, through a willed act we receive this thing we did not want, then LONELINESS, the name of the field nobody wants, is transformed into a place of hidden treasure.
Was it only the three years of pubic life that prepared Jesus for the Cross, or were the thirty silent years just as necessary? Were they not, in a manner of speaking, a part of the field where for Him the pearl lay? If all He is asking of us just now is the willingness to accept the relatively small discipline of loneliness, can we not see it as a part of His gift of allowing us to walk with Him?”
(Photo Credit: Mob Society)