It would seem that we do everything in our power to avoid being lonely. We seek out relationships constantly--whether they are healthy or not--we pursue interaction. Obviously the media, (cough, SOCIAL media, cough) bolsters our desire for it every way it can, practically yelling the message that to be lonely is to be sad. Well, either sadness or that prideful, "I-am-human-hear-me-roar-and-I-don't-need-anyone-to-make-me-happy" cover we create aids our coping. Not only to we chase social satisfaction, but we shovel activity into the mouths of our clocks so every moment is engorged with busyness. How can we be lonely if we don't have time for it, right? Fear keeps us from drinking that perceived "toxin" of solitude, for doing so might yield vulnerability, quiet, and possibly reflection. Yes, the extrovert has their gregarious tendencies, but they are not the only ones who dread a life of seclusion. Since we know that God has created us ALL for relationship and community, this applies to all of us.
And once again, we see the enemy's distortion of God's image in us. We have forgotten that He created us for relationships because of the even greater truth that HE WANTS TO BE IN COMMUNITY WITH US. All of the contact we yearn for can only be truly and completely satisfied in Him. He's either everything to us or He's nothing. Certainly He desires us to be in community with others for countless reasons, but far too often we try and fill the loneliness void with everything except for Him. In so doing, we miss out on the way that He has REDEEMED loneliness. He redeemed loneliness with the most amazing, beautiful, matchless gift of HIS NEARNESS. "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18). I firmly believe that He allows loneliness to grant us a level of His nearness that draws us into deeper intimacy with Him, the kind of closeness that overflows into the exclamation that "as for me it is good to be near God" (Psalm 73:28) The rest of that verse gives us another clue to the art of loneliness. "I have made the LORD God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works." He's all about promoting His Name and getting us to a position that we can proclaim His marvelous deeds. So, I encourage you the next time you are lonely, make the Sovereign God your refuge, and discover the riches of His presence.
Sovereign Lord, We praise you for never ever leaving us alone, even though sometimes we feel lonely. Thank you for the ways you teach us how to work through our loneliness so that you get the glory. We would do anything so that you get the glory. May Your Holy Spirit help us understand more facets of Your nearness, for You are infinite, and there is still so much to learn about Your most lovely closeness. Thank you for allowing us to feel lonely, and thank you Jesus for experiencing loneliness here on earth so You can comfort us more effectively by Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for being our remedy for loneliness. Oh, how we love you Lord. Amen.
When was the last time you thought that loneliness was a good thing?
Brittany Van Ryn
Working out thoughts with HIM.