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The Loneliness Epidemic- 5- His Longing in Our Loneliness

The Loneliness Epidemic
Day 5- His Longing in Our Loneliness
Ruth P McDonald

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, ESV)

“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” (James 5:13a, ESV)

How has your loneliness been speaking to you lately? What sort of thoughts fill your mind in quiet moments when no other voices are pushing in? Do you feel misunderstood, sad or even angry that you’re doing life in a way that’s far different than you imagined? While these feelings are often legitimate, if we allow them to take root they can easily spoil our usefulness for the kingdom work God has for us. We must sort through these feelings and make some decisions about them so our thoughts stay out of any dark places that can destroy us.

One of the most powerful tools for combatting loneliness is to cultivate our relationship with Jesus. He longs to be the Helper and Comforter we need, but we must draw close to receive these blessings His Spirit provides us. There are many reasons we may be facing loneliness, and in each of them we know God cares.

Another helpful tool is to plug yourself in where you can, specifically, in a sphere of other godly believers. Attend church functions, ask a friend for coffee or dinner, or call someone and share your struggles. We have been given other believers to help us along our journey, and we desperately need one another. Do not feel ashamed or afraid to share the depth of your feelings; holding them in can lead to harmful thoughts or feelings.

If your thoughts are not well received from others and you can’t seem to find a listening ear that offers godly advice and compassion, it is time to seek help through Christian counseling. Years ago, there was some negativity associated with counseling, and those ideas from years past can still make us question ourselves, asking why we can’t seem to figure things out on our own or why just praying about it can’t always be enough. To be frank, sometimes we need the help and wisdom from someone educated to handle these thoughts and feelings because they’ve been trained to do just that.

If someone approaches me with suicidal thoughts that stem from loneliness, I can offer a listening ear, a compassionate response, and even a promise to pray with and for them, but I lack the training to see them through to recovery. We must be careful not to try to be all the help someone needs if we aren’t capable on our own; it’s wise to recognize they need more help in that situation than we are able to give and commit to see them find it.

God would not have any of us stay stuck in our loneliness. He wants to see us enjoy life and live abundantly for His work and His glory. If you’re struggling today, commit yourself to pursuing wholeness. We have work to do while we still have breath, but we can’t do it to the fullest if we are suffering or unable to navigate negative thought patterns associated with our loneliness. We can take comfort in knowing God cares and understands, but we also can take courage in moving to a place of healing and abundance, knowing He can help us get there!

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