And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.– Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV
Don’t make assumptions. Even when you know you are not alone you can still be lonely. Sometimes you can be lonely in the midst of a crowd. There are several profiles of loneliness:
1. The Lonely Single (No one to call their own). We saw this in Adam.
2. The Lonely Spouse (No one to share your life with). Read Genesis 29:31-35. Leah is the profile of the lonely spouse. She was married to Jacob but he longed for Rachel. There are many married but are alone (i.e., spouse will not talk with you, will not travel with you, etc.)
3. The Lonely Survivor (No one left). Living with someone with Alzheimer’s. Losing someone to death. Losing someone to divorce.
4. The Lonely Senior (No one who cares for me). Read 1 Timothy 5:3-5. Parents give love to their children who now simply don’t have time for them or as much time as they would like. No one is left who remembers; no one who understands.
5. The Lonely Sufferer (No one understands their pain). Read Psalm 102:1-7. Physical problems have emotional symptoms because pain isolates us.
6. The Lonely Servant of God (No one beside me). Lay everything before God – their time, their work and even their homes. This is a sense of what Jesus felt in the Garden of Gethsemane before going to the cross (Matthew 26:36-46).
You have permission to be lonely. Liberate yourself from loneliness by:
· Admit it. Acknowledge the reality of your loneliness. Be honest about your feelings. Loneliness is real and it is painful. God knows your heart.
· Use the time wisely. Seek God during that time. Read Psalm 27:8-9 Seek God’s voice through the Word
· Don’t panic. Don’t do anything impulsively or unrighteously. Read Psalm 27:10; 1 Peter 2:10.
· Make a plan. Activate your network of Christian friends. Loneliness is a choice – not the isolated moments we all experience but lingering, pervasive loneliness. Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and share with a friend.
· Act – Read Proverbs 18:24. If you show yourself friendly, you will have a friend. Read Hebrews 10: 24-25. Go to church and fellowship with other believers.
Rev. Kenneth S. Robinson, M.D., Bible Study, “Slaying the Giants in Your Life”, based on a book by Dr. David Jeremiah.