How is the answer to our loneliness found in our willingness to lean into the pain?
November 26, 2017, 5:00 AM

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. See how numerous are my enemies and how fiercely they hate me! Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you. Psalm 25:16-21


There are many roads that lead us down the path towards loneliness, the loss of a loved one, living with convictions, relocating to a new town or school, secret sin patterns ,or being introverted in social settings, just to name a few. It doesn’t matter if you are in the midst of a sea of people or all by yourself behind closed doors, loneliness knows no bounds. The pain of loneliness is part of the human experience. We’ve all encountered the pain of separation at one time or another. When those feelings of loneliness begin to make an appearance, we do everything in our power to protect ourselves. We surround ourselves with noise and keep busy to avoid slowing down long enough to listen to the silence. We hide behind our work, we get lost in media and technology, and we medicate by indulging in anything that will numb the pain.


We often exchange connection with distraction and community with consumption. In our quest to find wholeness, everyone becomes a commodity. If we don’t understand the deep cause of our loneliness, we will continue to use others. This creates unbelievable pressure and heartbreak in the connections we are trying to make.  When people disappoint or hurt us, we retreat into loneliness. We reason the agony of loneliness is better than the pressure of people so we disengage from others by either becoming self-absorbed or playing the victim card and blaming others for our pain. We do everything in our power to protect ourselves from the pain loneliness brings.


Many of us don’t like being alone because we don’t know what to do with ourselves. The last thing we want to experience is coming face-to-face with our brokenness, loneliness, and insecurities. But, rather than running away from loneliness, we should lean into the pain, because if we do, this is where comfort resides. The way we learn to deal with crushing loneliness is found when we give up trying to escape, force, amuse or distract it away. Everyone struggles with loneliness; how we view and deal with it determines the quality of our lives and our relationships. When have you experienced loneliness? How did you react in these moments? What did you turn to in hopes of distracting yourself or dealing with these feelings of loneliness? Why did you look to these things to bring you comfort? How is the answer to our loneliness found in our willingness to lean into the pain?


This is my Prayer:  Father God, in the midst of my loneliness, may I trust that I am never truly alone. Lord You are always with me. All too often I want to avoid and run away from the pain. Jesus instead, give me the courage to embrace it so you can mend my heart. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.