In 1960, Elvis’ smooth voice sang out his new song, Are you lonesome tonight? That was 59 years ago and it still resonates the sentiment. I googled the words ‘lonely songs’ giving me over 200 pages of titles. It is estimated that 47% of the world is lonely at some point or other in their lifetime.
Loneliness is a fact of life.
Most never want to experience it and wish relief from it. Many sit in front of the television passing the time to forget their pain. Others keep themselves so busy at work or social events so they don’t feel lonely. Some parents put their kids in many activities so they themselves can have social interaction.
Social media has made it feel like we have so many friends and we have the ability to text people across the world with just a few finger strokes. We never have to hear a voice or meet face-to-face and still have 1,000’s of friends. I mean, we certainly can’t be lonely with so many friends, can we?
God created us with a desire to interact and encourage each other. Loneliness is from the beginning of time with Adam. He had a perfect earth with beautiful creatures and a relationship with God. Yet, he wanted another human to be by his side.
Life can hit us sideways with situations that send loneliness in a package we would rather not receive and scribble “return to sender” on it. There have been times I have felt pretty down and dealing with stinkin’ thinkin’. After a visit or a chat with someone, I felt so much better and my perspective and attitude had changed.
It’s not easy to feel loneliness and I would never claim it is. That is why I think it is so important to encourage each other.
Just think of a few events from Scripture. I am sure Esther felt overwhelmed and alone in her task to save her people from extinction. Noah must have been laughed at for building an Ark where no huge body of water existed. David had to hide to save his life from a jealous King.
Single parents, the elderly, youth, and even married people experience the feelings of loneliness. Some struggle more than others. Research says that loneliness can contribute to mental and physical illness. You might be surprised of people who struggle with deep loneliness and yet look all put together on the outside.
Singles think that if they just meet someone, they will never be lonely again. Some married spouses think that if their partner will pay more attention to them, they won’t feel lonely. Youth and young adults think if they are invited to parties or accepted by the in-crowd, they won’t feel left out. Our dear elderly wait for visitors to fill up their lonely hours. Many Christ-followers are left behind and mocked because of their stand for the Scriptures.
As a single parent, I experienced deep loneliness even in a crowd of friends. I had weekends alone, and in my times of stress and feeling scared, I didn’t have someone to hold me and say it was going to be okay.
We need connection.
We are not exempt from loneliness but we do have HOPE. Hope gives us the reason to work through loneliness.
My goal is to encourage you that you are not alone and that loneliness is a journey we all walk. Would you walk with me in the next weeks as we talk about loneliness surrounded by HOPE?
That is why in my book for single parents (see link below), I end every chapter with this phrase,
There is HELP, there is HOPE, there is HEALING!
- I am lonely and trouble. Show that you care and have pity on me. Psalm 25:16 (CEV)
- If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. When I thought, ‘my foot slips’, your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. Psalm 94:17-19 (ESV)
- The Lord Your God will always be at your side, and he will never abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6b (CEV)
Are you lonely tonight? Claim these Bible verses and believe the God of the Universe wants to engage in your life. You are not alone. You can begin by asking God for His HOPE.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
Next Time: The Loneliness Epidemic with an RX Script: Part II