Lonely?

Lonely?

Featured in the January, 2003 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News

Loneliness is the cold, invisible space that separates us from the warmth of
other people.

Loneliness is no one to talk to, no one to touch, no eye to catch your glance.

You are lonely when your time is not taken by another and the chair nearby is
unoccupied. But most of all, loneliness is not outward, but inward — an
emptiness in the heart.

You try to drive off loneliness by listening to the radio, watching the
television, reading a book; but as water fills the stomach without nourishing
the body, so these mock us by not meeting our deepest inward needs.

Loneliness is the ache caused by the absence of someone we love. Loneliness is a
house that’s not quite a home; food without fellowship; words without warmth.

Loneliness is a gift without a recipient; an occasion with no one to share it; a
special day without a special person.

You experience loneliness when someone dear is swept from your life by distance,
death or disagreement. Life is no longer the same. There is a table, but not for
two; a car, but not a companion; a melody without a harmony; a phone that does
not ring; a mailbox that is empty.

Guests

Everyone who suffers from loneliness feels himself to be a victim, but that
is not true. There is something you can do! Life is a parade of people, they
come and go. If some go, we must find others. Sometimes the hurt is so deep we
do not have the strength to look. But loneliness is not cured by waiting for
people to come into our lives, but it is relieved by our going out and bringing
them into our lives.

A once-empty table can have guests seated about it. A holiday can become festive
by inviting others who would be alone if you had not thought to ask them to your
home. Loneliness scoffs at mathematics. When you add two lonely people you do
not get twice as much loneliness, but now there is none at all.

Then also, we need to be alert to those times in our lives when loneliness can
be a problem. Often in a time of sickness (Psalm 38:11) our isolation leads to
loneliness. Also, the more secrets you must keep the greater distance you must
put between yourself and others lest they discover what you want to keep hidden.
One who has secret sins often suffers from loneliness because he cannot afford
friends.

Tragedy may drive people from your life as when Paul was imprisoned and tried,
he said nobody stood with him but all had forsaken him (II Timothy 4:16).

Our disagreeableness can lead to loneliness. Robert Louis Stevenson tells of two
maiden sisters in Edinburgh who lived in a single room. One day they had a
bitter argument and then never spoke again. Their Scotch frugality kept them in
the same room but a chalk line drawn from the doorway to the fireplace separated
them as they lived in silent loneliness all their days.

We seek to avoid loneliness by enjoying the warmth of our families. But every
family is temporary. Parents die and children grow up and leave, and then comes
the loneliness.

A New Family

However, you need never be lonely. There is a solution. By the New Birth
(John 3:3) you can be born into the Forever Family of God. When you receive
Jesus Christ as Savior you get the authority from God to become a child of God
(John 1:12). Just as Jesus called Zacchaeus from where he had isolated himself
in the loneliness of the sycamore tree (Luke 19:1-10) so Jesus calls to you.

You can be part of God’s family and you can become a member of the Lord’s
church. In His church you will find caring people and loving friends. As you
trust in Christ for salvation and turn your life over to Him you discover that
many others share your experience. You are not alone! In the great public
services you have the inspiring experience of being in the midst of a multitude
of believing people and in the intimacy of a small Bible class you have the joy
of finding friends who’ll make loneliness only a memory. In the service of the
Lord through His church you will find the fulfillment that drives the emptiness
from your life.

The key to curing loneliness is Christ and His church.