Key Text: 2 Timothy 4:9-17
All of us at some point have experienced and known what it is to be lonely. Coming out of the pandemic has left some of us scarred, struggling to reconnect and for some if we’re honest have no desire to reconnect.
Loneliness: A separation anxiety brought on by the feelings of being disconnected, out of touch; it is a loss of intimacy or belonging, feeling abandoned, ostracised and isolated.
Loneliness can be a painful thing, some of us are hurting, going through a really tough time but what if we could open ourselves up to the possibility that a relationship with God could be even better than just removing the loneliness.
Consider that in the loneliness you are in the place that God wants you because He wants to do something in your life, He wants to birth something. It won’t change the circumstance but a relationship with God will and does change our view and perspective about our situation.
Christian author and Pastor Max Lucado tells the story of his friend who worked at a Pharmacy whilst at University.
Every four days he shouldered a large jug of water and carried it 50 or so feet to a building behind the pharmacy. The customer was an old woman, perhaps in her 70’s who lived alone in a dark, sparse and tarnished apartment. A single lightbulb hung from the ceiling. The wallpaper was stained and peeling. The shades were drawn and the room was shadowy. Steve would deliver the jug, receive the payment, thank the woman and leave.
Over the weeks he grew puzzled by her purchase. He learned that the woman had no other source of water. She would rely on his delivery for four days of washing, bathing and drinking. Odd choice. Municipal water was cheaper. The city would have charged her $12-$15 a month; her expense at the pharmacy added up to $50 a month. Why didn’t she choose the less expensive source? The answer was in the delivery system. Yes, the city water cost less but the city sent only the water, they didn’t send a person. She preferred to pay more and see a human being, than Pay less and see no one.
King David , understood those feelings of loneliness and isolation that so many of us have and are experiencing right now. He wrote Psalm 25:16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and
Psalm 6:6-7 I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes. David knew the feeling of loneliness.
Most have learned that we don’t have to be alone to feel lonely. 2000 years ago 250 million people populated the Earth. Now there are more than 8 billion. If loneliness could be cured by the presence of people, then surely there would be less loneliness today. But loneliness lingers, loneliness still remains as big an issue as ever it was.
A person can be surrounded by an assembly of people and still be lonely.
Illustration: Have you ever gone to the supermarket on an empty stomach? You’re a sitting duck. We buy everything we don’t need. Doesn’t matter if it is good for us, we just want to fill our stomachs. When we’re lonely, we do the same thing in life pulling stuff off the shelf, not because we need it but because we are hungry for love. We do it because we fear facing life alone.
No person, possession, profession or position can ever fill the cup of an empty heart. It’s an emptiness only God Himself can fill. And in those moments we will know that we are nothing because it’s only when we acknowledge our loneliness, emptiness and nothingness that God can fill us with Himself…so let Him.
Sometimes God brings you to a place where you feel alone because He simply wants us to seek His presence again, to remember Him. Know this we are not forgotten and we are not alone. Know this that God hears us.
Loneliness is not the absence of faces. It’s the absence of intimacy. Loneliness doesn’t come from being alone; it comes from feeling alone. Feeling as if you are facing death alone, facing sickness alone, facing divorce alone, facing abuse alone, facing the future alone. Whether it comes to us in our beds at night or on our drive to the hospital, in the silence of an empty house, in the absence of a partner, in the noise of a crowded pub or club, loneliness is when we think. ‘I feel so alone does anyone care.’
There is one who cares His name is Jesus and He’s longing to have a relationship with us.
1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.
Feeling alone is a time where we can build a stronger relationship with God it’s a time when we can draw closer to Him in prayer and waiting. It’s a time to understand and learn that God wants us to talk to Him in the same way that we would talk to a friend and He will not turn us away.
My father and mother have forsaken me but the Lord will take me in. Psalm 27:10 Could it be that loneliness is not a curse but a gift from God? Yes, there times to be in fellowship and relationship with others but there are also times to be in communion with God. Why because He wants an intimate relationship with us free from distractions.
Moses proclaimed it: ‘What great nation has a God as near to them as the Lord our God is near to us?’ Deuteronomy 4:7
Paul announced that: ‘He is not far from each one of us.’ Acts 17:27 and David discovered it: ‘You are with me.’
I will not leave you Genesis 28:15
Underline these words: You are not alone.
Because we are not alone, we no longer need to be a hungry shopper in a supermarket.
Now we can fill those lonely moments with the truth. that we are not alone, have never been alone and are surrounded by the ever-present crowd of one.
Be encouraged in the living presence of Jesus, knowing that He always stands by us. When we are alone with Jesus we are never alone.
If we find ourselves alone is it possible that God wants to birth something in us. Our times of apparent loneliness could be the best times of our lives.