Friday, March 20, 2015

Day 27 of My Lenten Journey

27.  Loneliness

Have you ever taken those Buzzfeed quizzes to see "Which character would you be in...."  or "Are you an introvert or an extrovert?"   I even found this one!  (Which, by the way, it told me I needed to join a creative/collaberative project or group.) They are fun to play with, but maybe it is a way to either laugh off or to confirm in self-loathing about what your problems are.

Loneliness is not something I complain about often.  Being a mom, I usually delight in those times in which I am physically alone.  But, being alone is different than being lonely.  It seems to be more of a state of mind or emotion where you feel separated from others or have a lack of association with people or a group.  This can bring on deep sadness and even depression.  I have been on the brink before.

God designed us to be with each other and be in community with one another.  He gave Adam a companion and wife in giving him Eve. (Genesis 2:20-24)   Acts 2:42-47 talks about the fellowship of believers and how they ate together, prayed together, had things in common, and praised God together.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

No one knew loneliness better than David in his Psalm 25:16 when he says "Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted."  The deal is that David knew where to turn.  He turned to the one who is with us always-God.   Jesus too went to a "lonely place" several times to be with God his father, but it doesn't say that he was lonely.  However, Jesus has felt our pain of loneliness. On the cross he cried out to God.  He was separated from God due to taking on our sin and he felt extreme loneliness from God that we will never experience.

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46

So, how do we fix this problem?  Ask for help.  Start with God, just like David did.  By reading of His Word and prayer God gives us comfort and help. He also sends people into our lives,
if we let him.

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.  2 Corinthians 1:4

Also, it is a 2 way street.  If we never reach out to anyone, why should they want to reach out to us? Helping others takes the focus off of ourselves.  Lifting up others lifts us up in the process as well. The question now is, who do I need to reach out to?  Who needs my care and support?  I hope that as a friend, I can be that person in a time of need.  I have definitely done my share of receiving in the past few years.  I will keep my eyes open to who God wants me to comfort now.

Special thanks to these 2 who have always comforted me!

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.  Proverbs 27:9

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