You’re standing in the corner of a room filled with conversation and laughter. You see your friends clustered in the middle of the room, surrounded by more people. You see smiles, casual hair flips; you hear words about someone’s dog and someone else’s science class. You mumble something, then hold your breath. Nobody seems to notice. You say it again, louder this time. Nothing. Then, the realization hits you: You are standing completely alone in a room brimming with company.
I have been feeling this way for the last couple of weeks. It’s difficult to explain why I felt so alone when I am constantly around people: my classmates, my roommate, the brothers and sisters. But I may as well have been locked in my room all day by myself. A heavy hollowness was growing inside of me and causing me to feel disconnected from everything and everyone. Because I felt so alone, I didn’t think anybody cared about what I did or didn’t do. I procrastinated on homework more than usual, and I skipped out on home meetings and Bible studies because I “just wasn’t feeling it.”
Then the Lord intervened and reminded me that He cares.
The Lord Cares
1 Peter 5:7 says to “cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” I realized that feeling like someone cared was what I had been lacking. Everything, from doing homework to maintaining friendships to reading the Bible, had been feeling like a constant battle. I knew I couldn’t handle it alone, and I was failing. The first step to getting myself back on track was realizing that I didn’t have to fight everyday battles alone.
The Lord not only cares about our battles, but He understands the full breadth of our loneliness because He experienced it firsthand when He was on the earth as a man. But now, He lives in our spirit and He is always a part of us.
By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. (1 John 4:13)
God stays when others do not.
The Importance of Community
It’s human nature to need other people. It takes many people to build up the church and foster our enjoyment of Christ. We need people to whom we can flow out our enjoyment of Christ and we need people that will pour their Christ into us (Rom 12:4-5). Community is essential in our Christian life. So, if we succumb to loneliness, the cause lies within.
Why do we feel lonely?
There are two reasons why we may feel lonely.
1. We are depending on the world
We should not depend on things of the world to hold us up entirely. The world has a tendency to change and people are inherently fickle. We have to realize that the only constant we can experience on the earth is supernatural by nature. The only constant is the Lord! In Matthew 28:20, Jesus addresses the disciples and tells them, “I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” Because the mission that Jesus gave the disciples (to make disciples of all the nations) is the same mission we have today, we can be assured that we are included in the “you” that Jesus refers to.
2. We are not functioning as members of Christ’s Body
1 Corinthians 14:6 says “each one has.” If we are not contributing what we have for the building up of the Body of Christ, we will feel alone and isolated from the church. It’s a paradox, but in order to receive the inflow of supply, we ourselves have to flow out (John 7:38). It’s an endless and reciprocal cycle unless something obstructs the flow, like loneliness or isolation. If we are not flowing out, we will not be able to let any life flow in. If we don’t let life flow in, we will ultimately experience spiritual death.
How to Combat Loneliness
I often forget that Jesus is more than just the God in heaven. In John 15:15, He tells us that He calls us friends. So, why do we still get bouts of loneliness? Why can’t we feel the Lord listening to us when the crowd ignores us? How, then, can we feel the Lord?
To acknowledge the Lord’s presence, all we have to do is call on Him. Really, it’s that simple!
He says, “When they call to me, I will answer them” (Psalms 91:15). Our calls are not drowned out by the chatter of the world; they are heard above the noise. When you call, the Lord not only faithfully listens, but answers, too.
The Lord’s friendship isn’t as tangible as a friendship with another person, so it’s easy to question if God is really there. To try to better understand our friendship with the Lord we have to consider the practicalities of a friendship with another person. If you never talk to someone or spend time with them, you wouldn’t be great friends with them or friends at all. The same goes for the Lord! If we don’t spend time with him, we won’t feel His presence with us. Our relationship grows through our calling on the Lord.
I’ve recently tried to spend time with the Lord whenever possible. I’ll chat with Him as I walk to class, or as I’m eating lunch. It can start with a short, honest prayer, like “Lord, this is new for both of us. I want a relationship with you. Help me build that relationship.” Speaking to the Lord is so accessible and it is all we have to do to build our relationship with Him.
The Lord loves us and cares about our battles, and is with us all the time! He wants a relationship with us as much as we need one with Him, and He will answer when we call.
You are precious to Me and… I love you… do not be afraid—I am with you! (Isaiah 43:4-5)
By: Christina Lopez