by Shannon Kay McCoy
“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” (Psalm 25:16)
Have you ever felt utterly alone? Have you experienced the dark cloud of loneliness? Loneliness is an unsettling feeling of disconnection from others, whether alone or in the presence of people. Sometimes it can be subtle—like the creeping fog surrounding you or it can be sudden—like a heavy, wet blanket dropping from the sky.
When life’s trials and challenges overwhelm you, do you wonder if anyone cares for you? The psalmist cried out in his distress, “no one cares for my soul” (Ps. 142:4). The broken pieces of your life can leave you feeling hopeless and lonely. It can cause you to lose perspective and to question your faith. Little things become big, loved ones become enemies, and circumstances become life-threatening. Worst of all, you may feel that God has turned His back on you.
The Heart of Loneliness
Loneliness is a universal feeling. To be lonely is to be human. It is a result of sin entering the human condition in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve decided to disobey God by eating from the forbidden tree, a severe relational disconnect took place. They experienced the loneliness of hiding from one another and from God.
Since then, loneliness can be found in the single, the married, the young, the old, in leadership, in the caretaker, the at-home parent, whether in a crowd or alone. When you find yourself facing trials by yourself, loneliness is there. When a loved one betrays you, loneliness is there. When you forget that God is always with you, loneliness is there. Loneliness reveals your desperate need for help.
A Pathway to God
In your loneliness, you may be tempted to run away from God—doubting His love and purpose for you. God wants to use your experience of loneliness as a pathway to Himself. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” God promises to be present with you. Instead of going to your lonely hiding place, allow God to use it to draw you into a deeper relationship with Himself. He calls the lonely out of seclusion and invites you to come into His presence. He promises to show you the path of life and to give you fullness of joy (Ps. 62:11). He puts the broken pieces back together to renew your purpose and to make you useful again.
Loneliness is a pathway to a deeper fellowship with God. Loneliness can cause you to believe that you have nothing left. In Christ, you have everything you need (2 Pet. 1:3). Trust Him with your loneliness. Let it be an offering to Him as an act of worship and rest in the joy of His presence.