“God sets the solitary in families” (Psalm 68:6, New King James Version).
Have you ever been surrounded by people and yet felt isolated and lonely? A crowd can be a very lonely place. It’s a common problem in our busy.
We all have lonely times in life. Our very mobile society may contribute to this. Many of us no longer live near family and childhood friends. For others, loneliness is caused by death, divorce, broken friendships, a lack of close relationships, limitations as we age, or other life events. In our crazy, rushed world, relationships also suffer because we don’t make time for each other and lose our closeness.
Jesus understands our feelings of loneliness. He endured them Himself. Although surrounded by crowds during His years of ministry, He was misunderstood, rejected, and forsaken. One meaning of the word solitary in Psalm 68:8 is “forsaken.” The Lord understands our emotions (Hebrews 4:15). At His darkest hour, one disciple betrayed Him and the others forsook Him. He cried out from the cross, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). When we feel all alone and thinks no one cares, the Lord identifies with those feelings.
Lonely often refers to someone who lacks companionship or a connectedness to others. It may include feelings of sadness or unhappiness. How we choose to respond at such times can intensify our feelings. Often our natural inclination is to pull back, hoping someone will reach out to us. What if we reversed the process? What if we reached out to others instead of waiting for them to come to us?
If loneliness is caused by being disconnected, or solitary, how can we reestablish those essential connections? How can we move from “lonely in the crowd” to sustaining relationships? Many see social media as the answer, but it really isn’t. We may have 500 “friends” online, but we can end up lonelier than before. We need real contact, one-on-one encounters, in life.
Relationships Connect Us
Our most important relationship must be with God. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (NKJV). This means devoting time to Him. That’s how relationships grow stronger and deeper. (Also read Psalm 16:11; Isaiah 41:13.) Our relationship with Him leads to another area of connectedness: our place in the body of Christ. If the body is functioning in a healthy manner, we will be there for each other. Ephesians 4:16 expresses it like this:
“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (New Living Translation).
When feelings of loneliness wash over us, God promises to never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). He’s there for you—all the time. He has also provided a body of believers to love and encourage each other. We are never alone.
Prayer: Thank You, God, for Your faithfulness to me. When I feel lonely, it helps me to remember You experienced the same emotions I now have. You understand what it means to feel forsaken and alone. Yet You promised to always be there for me, and I hold onto that promise. I can never be truly lonely because You are always with me.