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What to do with Loneliness

Deuteronomy 31:8

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

Lately, I’ve been reading “Passion and Purity” by Elizabeth Elliot, a Christian missionary worker who describes how she and her husband waited for God’s timing to unite them in marriage while each obeying God’s calling to singlehood and missionary work in the field, even when that took five years.  A often talked about theme in the book when she was struggling with placing God’s command in front of her own desires is the topic of loneliness. That has not changed a bit even in the twenty-first century. Young men and women in their 20s often talk about feeling lonely and empty once they graduate from college and start life on their own and finding themselves without a boyfriend or girlfriend by their side.

If you want to begin to answer that loneliness, you have to look towards God. Be Still and know that He is God. “When you are lonely, too much stillness is exactly the thing that seems to be laying waste your soul. Use that stillness to quiet your heart before God. Get to know Him. If He is God, He is still in charge.” Sometimes God precisely wants to use this season of quietude to draw us closer to Him. Often times when we are not preoccupied with family, relationships and marriage, God is able to get more of our attention.

Secondly, remember that you are not alone. This is where the verse in Deuteronomy comes in. When we struggle with singlehood or loneliness, we tend to wallow in self pity and fall into the cycle of thinking that no one knows us, no one truly loves us, no one is thinking about us. But that could not be further from the truth. Our Lord Jesus knows every hair on our head and knows our exact motivation in doing every little thing. He also has promised to love us to the end and that “we are worth more than many sparrows” (Luke 12). Jesus deeply understands our insecurities and constant need for reminders that He loves us and knows us intimately. So I hope that we can all remember to remind ourselves of the love that we are freely given, the next time loneliness knocks on our doors.

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