After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.
Author Willow Liana begins a recent article by telling a story about a close friend. Her friend has just graduated from college and has entered the workforce. The transition has been difficult, but not because of the work. Rather, the problem has been her sense of isolation. In college, she had a close circle of friends she saw every day. Now, however, she feels constantly alone. “I keep asking myself, ‘Where is everyone? Where are all the people?’ I have this persistent feeling there are supposed to be people around, but they are missing.”
The article goes on. It describes current cultural factors isolating individuals from larger groups—from the loss of community in neighborhoods to technology that often makes it easy to work and eat and live with no person-to-person contact.
With that, however, let’s look at something very different. In the last book of the Bible, the apostle John describes a massive gathering of individuals who are not lonely at all. What he sees is a great multitude . . . from every nation, tribe, people and language. They could not be happier or have a greater sense of belonging. And the reason for their perfect happiness and sense of belonging is right before them—the Lamb, the Son of God, Jesus Christ. On the basis of what he has done on their behalf, on the basis of the blood he has shed at the cross to wash their sins away—they now belong to him, and he belongs to them. They are the multitude of blood-bought souls who will never know loneliness again.
This present world is broken, broken by sin—your sin and mine. As you and I walk through this broken world, we will taste many bitter things. We’ll taste grief. We’ll taste cruelty. We’ll taste frustration, anxiety, and fear. And we will taste loneliness.
Enter Jesus. He carries us through each lonely moment. And remember what’s coming. The multitude awaits.
Lord Jesus, carry me through each lonely moment. And remind me that, one day, the lonely moments will be gone forever. Amen.