For some people, this is a very lonely time of year. The celebrations of Christmas have come and gone. New Year resolutions are beginning to fail, and the hopes of making a difference or being successful are starting to fade. Loneliness sets in and depression, like a creeping shadow, slowly overcomes some people.
Finding God in loneliness can be hard at times. And yet the Bible is full of lonely people. Joseph is kidnapped and finds himself in a foreign land. Moses is exiled from his people until he is eighty. Ruth and Naomi feel abandoned by their community when their husbands die. David has to flee for safety and live in caves several times throughout his long life. Elijah is a fugitive and just wants to die because he is so lonely. Daniel is isolated in the lion’s den where no one can help him. Jesus gets so lonely at times, even in the midst of crowds, that He has to go off early in the morning to solitary places just to have some quiet time with God.
And how lonely must it have felt for Christ, when the whole world turned against Him and nailed Him to a cross of shame?
Verse of the Day
Psalm 118:29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Loneliness is a tough part of life and a hurting of the soul. A recent study suggests that people who are lonely, who feel disconnected to society, look to God for solace, friendship, and companionship. Perhaps they understand that loneliness and isolation will come to us all one day. Perhaps lonely people are one spiritual step ahead of the crowd, because they understand that in the end it’s our relationship with God that will eternally matter. And perhaps they know, in the midst of their hurt, disappointment, and loneliness that only God’s love endures forever.
In the midst of our busy, stressful lives, we should set aside sometime to be lonely – lonely and looking for God. Our loneliness can lead to faithfulness in a sacred way that only the lonely understand. Their loneliness can become a gift from a loving God, for better than others, they know that He will never abandon nor forsake them, nor will He ever stop loving them or let them go.
Prayer: O Love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee; I give Thee back the life I owe, that in Thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be. Amen.