Loneliness

Published on Jun 26th, 2013 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0

When I was 24 years old I was working at a church, busy all of the time, surrounded by friends and many people but I also remember that on many Friday and Saturday nights feeling an intense sense of loneliness.  I can remember making a commitment to the Lord that I would do my best to never forget those long nights.  I had the freedom to choose to do anything I wanted to do, go anywhere I wanted to go and yet nothing seemed to hold my interest because even though I was surrounded by people I seemed unable to find joy in others.  Even now, as I write these words, those moments of loneliness are remembered and felt.

 

I believe I have kept that commitment to God and I have not forgotten those lonely times.  God has implanted on my heart an empathy for those whom He has called to live alone.  I have, over the years, though, been taught a different perspective of those times.  I am more and more convinced that my sense of loneliness could have been substantially lessened if I would have known then what I know today.  Yes, there still would have been a longing to share my life but the pain of being alone would have been absorbed by the Lord.  Let me share with you a few things I have learned.

 

1)  Psalm 16:11; 17:15 – David was a man who learned to find his true satisfaction and joy in the Lord. By God’s grace, I am being taught that very truth.  Being satisfied means that you are not longing after something else.  Being satisfied with God frees me up to be able to give freely to others and not expect others to bring the satisfaction that only God can bring.  My desire to share my life with others is put on a scale opposite my satisfaction in God and God outweighs it every time.  This helps keep all things in perspective.

 

2)  Phil 2 – The mindset and actions of Jesus in his incarnation demonstrate to us that we need to be involved in the lives of people.  To live among them and share life with them.  It is possible to be with people, experience events with people, but not truly share your life with them.  Even though you are walking with people through life you are not giving of your heart and life to them – you are simply walking beside them.  This kind of life will lead to less disappointment and less hurt but it will also lead to loneliness.   It is possible to give and give to people and never truly share you heart with them, to never really listen to them, to never really know them…this is a one sided relationship that leads to loneliness.  Jesus knew people, listened to people, gave to people and shared his life with them.  Many of us need help in learning to truly give of your heart and life to others.

 

3)  I Cor 9:19-23 –  Paul had an intense desire to win people to Jesus Christ.  In this passage he shares how he became a Jew to win the Jews, to win those under the law he acted under the law, to win the weak he became the weak.  Knowing that Paul would never compromise who he really was in Christ I began to learn the principle that if I am driven by a greater goal (for Paul it was to win many for Christ, for others it may be to gain friends) I can learn to be many things and still not lose the very essence of who I am.  We often “fall” into friendships due to a great affinity with people.  We meet someone and quickly learn that person loves the very same things we do.  They love to spend time the same way we do.  Their life is similar to ours.  But what happens at those times when God surrounds you with people who do not share the same likes and dislikes you do.  If your goal is to glorify God, serve others and make friends then you will learn to like and enjoy what others do.  Why?  Because your goal of friendship is greater than your love of that which you like to do.  You are driven by your belief that friendships are based on way more than a shared love of fishing.

 

Sometimes, in our lives, friendships just seem to happen.  Shared times are easy and smooth.  Other times friendships need to be worked at and scheduled.  They need to be driven by the knowledge that friends are essential.  It is true that placing yourself out there is often painful and humiliating but when you are satisfied in Jesus that pain is outweighed.  Being alone on a Friday night with only you and Jesus can be a lovely thing.  But I would also encourage you to not stop trying.  Be like Jesus and no matter how you are received go and live among people and be a good friend.

Comments are closed.