Tough Times: Loneliness
Lord, it has been an alarming discovery. I can feel lonely in a crowd…when I have lots of friends and when I’m involved in a busy, seemingly productive life. You’ve helped me discover that loneliness is not the absence of people, but the absence of truly profound relationships in which I can talk out how I’m feeling, share my secrets, and be open about my hopes and dreams. It’s also lonely when I don’t share with vulnerability my big failures or little goofs.
At the same time, I feel lonely when there’s no one with whom I can share my vision for the future, wild and impossible though it may seem at times. I guess a true friend is one with whom I can share the pain that makes me sad and the successes that make me glad. Loneliness seems to get worse when there’s not someone who will cry with me and laugh with me, pick me up when life goes “bump,” and bring me back down to reality when my plans soar with self-aggrandizement rather than self-sacrifice. I’m talking about true honesty that doesn’t just condone, but gently confronts.
Now, Lord, here’s the big discovery I’m making: I can’t be to others the friend I need them to be to me until I have a truly satisfying relationship with You. Loneliness is the anxiety of unrelatedness. The first step out of it is to trust You as a close confidant. Then help me find people of Your choice to extend the circle, and I’ll soon be ready to help heal the multitude of lonely people around me. It’s awesome that You want a friend of the likes of me, but You do. You’ve told me that over and over again. Today, I’m going to believe You! Amen.
Loneliness is none other than homesickness for God. Our loneliness is a “homing instinct.” God has placed it within us. And intimate communion is our home. Christ is the way home to the Father.
From Lloyd John Ogilvie’s book, “Praying Through the Tough Times”