The thought of loneliness strikes an unpleasant chord in our hearts. It is a condition we have all experienced, but do not welcome. Yet, loneliness can be a great opportunity for God to work within us, to comfort us and to develop our relationship with Him.
Prior to the modern era, loneliness was defined as being isolated or in a state of solitude. Today a person can be surrounded by other people, yet feel horribly alone. In our contemporary experience, loneliness can be described as an empty feeling, accompanied by a longing to be completed, affirmed, or noticed.
The Scripture teaches us that loneliness is both positive and negative. The root cause of this condition is negative, but God's Word reveals how it can be turned into something positive.
In the beginning, man was in perfect communion with God. Adam was alone, but not lonely. When God created Eve, He had in mind the help and fellowship that she would be for Adam, but she was never meant to fulfill him — God alone could do that. When Adam and Eve sinned, their relationship with God changed from one of supernatural intimacy to one of fear and shame. When this happened, God pursued them with love and restored them to a full relationship with Him.
Today, we continue to suffer the consequences of their choice. But the good news is when we sin, God can turn our running from Him into an opportunity to run to Him for forgiveness and renewed intimacy. But just as we can receive His fullness when we repent, we can also know His fullness when loneliness comes upon us from our circumstances.
God wants us to turn our lonely times — when we are unwillingly alone, reminded of a past hurt, rejected, or separated from someone we care about — into times of aloneness with Him. As we turn to Him, He will be that friend who sticks closer than a brother, who can fulfill us like no one else.
Excerpted from My Journal, a monthly devotional magazine from Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef.
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