Saturday, April 16, 2011

Quiet Moments With God: Lonely?

Sometimes I'm lonely. And I wonder what God was thinking when He set me atop a mountain in front of a computer. Recently, from many quarters, I've been hearing about lonely people who can find no way out of their isolation. Sadly, this is common in our present society, which seems to have given up on personal relationships. We have too many tasks to do to be bothered with others.

I always counted on family to fulfill the empty places. I've been blessed with a family who loves and cares for and about one another. But we've scattered. My mother lives a state away. I have one brother and sister who live in Alaska (I'm in Oregon) and I have another brother who lives on the other side of the country. It's difficult to remain close when the distance is so great.

Now that my children are grown, they have lives of their own and that often means little time for Mom and Dad. That's been a hard pill to swallow.

My husband and I, thankfully, have each other but we also have busy lives and cutting out time together can be difficult. We're trying.

Friends . . . well they have families of their own. And like me they're busy. There's just not enough time for fellowship and fun.

So, what do we do? Being lonely is painful and it seems to feed upon itself. The lonelier we feel the lonelier we feel. Depression and despondency can set in and each empty day becomes a sorrow we must get through, and there seems to be no way out of our solitude.

Our church family can be the answer, but even they can disappear into the mist. I've always been involved in church activities and spent a good deal of time with my church family. Life was full. However, after an injury trapped me in my house most of this year all of that changed. I miss them. And the life I had.

So... what to do.

First we need to acknowledge that we are never truly alone. God makes that clear in Psalm 139:1-12. David says, "O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, 'surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me', even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for the darkness is as light to you."

I am comforted to know that God is truly always with me. I am never alone.

However, God created us for fellowship. We need one another. And when we try to live our lives in isolation it just doesn't work. We've got to connect--with a family, a group or just a single good friend. How do we do that? We begin with prayer. And then we must be courageous enough to remove our masks and get honest about how we're feeling. Let someone else know. Be a friend.

I understand that reaching out takes courage. But we can do it. Years ago when my husband and I first moved to this little town, I spent many lonely months. It was my husband who took the first steps for me by asking a local merchant if they knew of any Christian women in my community. Armed with their phone numbers the next step was mine. I called each of them and invited them to a luncheon. That was the beginning of lifelong friendships.

Sometimes we have to step out and find our family. What do you like to do? Find others who are interested in the same things and you'll connect. And while you wait, get to know The One who loves you most.

And those of you who are content and surrounded by family and friends, keep your hearts open to someone who is still searching. They may need you and if you reach out, you may discover that you need them too.

Grace and peace to you from God.



  1. I'm finding that loneliness plagues a lot of people -- even the ones that are always in the limelight. Perhaps it's a gauge of sorts to help us detemine where we stand in relationships. I mean, it's easy to be really busy with work and friends and family but not really connect and then that loneliness creeps into our hearts.

    I love what you say about first acknowledging that we are never alone. Oh to be so pure and perfect that God's company alone could be enough! But still, He created us with this need for relationships.

    Seems to me it's the 21st century that's getting in the way of that. Friends and family scattered apart and, like you said, it's hard to stay close. I think some of the appeal for me in reading historical fiction is experiencing that strength in family and community. Back in the day we needed each other more...just for survival. Now we can physically and financial survive alone -- but not emotionally or spiritually. Such a conundrum and lots to ponder. Thanks for making me reach into the depths to figure out where I stand -- and how I can stand better.

    (Hope this makes sense -- I'm a little scattered tonight!)

  2. Good thoughts, Kav. And like you, the tight bonds of family is one of the things that I love about reading historical fiction and non-fiction. If our families were more tightly bonded, I'm convinced we'd have a lot less need for social programs.

    Thank you for jumping in on this. I always appreciate what you have to say.

    Grace and peace to you.

  3. Anonymous8:07 PM

    Right on target, Bonnie. Thanks, Roberta

  4. Roberta, if you're also known as Bertie you're one of those life long friends that I'm so thankful for.

    Wonderful to hear from you.