Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Cure for Loneliness

"As grand an experience as love is, it is not the final answer to loneliness." ~ Ravi Zacharias; Cries of the Heart

Loneliness is universal to human experience. Everyone, from the most famous to the least known, has experienced loneliness. Not just being alone, but the feeling there is no place we belong. Most of us believe the answer to our loneliness is a love relationship. The close relationships of friends and the intimate relationship of marriage we believe provide the answer to the loneliness which we experience. After all, if we are able to be with people then we will have place to fit in.

The trouble is many people who have friends and are married still experience loneliness. This is even the worst type of loneliness because we have what we believe is the answer to loneliness. So loneliness drives people to drugs and alcohol. Loneliness is the justification married person uses to have an affair. Love is a wonderful experience, but it alone cannot rid our hearts of loneliness.

What is the answer to loneliness? Worship. Understanding our purpose and giving our lives away to a higher calling than ourselves. Worshipping in Spirit and Truth, takes the focus off our lives and places it on the Person who deserves it. Our worship of God relieves the loneliness in our heart.

Loneliness is not a symptom of having no love in our lives. Most people have friends and family who love them. Loneliness then is a symptom of a hole in our heart that no human relationship can fill. Only God fill that hole. Yet, it is not filled by God's love. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life~ John 3:16 (NASB). God's love already exists for everyone, and yet people are lonely. Our loneliness is the longing God put in us for Him.

Our longing for God is only met in our worship of Him. This is not just singing a few songs on Sunday morning, at church camp, or at Christ In Youth Summer Conference. Worship is what we do to show our appreciation for who God is and what He has done for us. Worship is what we do in response to God's great love. It is through our worship that we discover a place to belong and the meaning for our lives. The more we respond to God, the more we experience His love, and the more we experience God's love the more we understand our lives.

He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them~ 2 Corinthians 5:15 (NLT). Though this verse isn't specifically talking about loneliness, I believe we can see the two ways we handle loneliness in it. The first way we can handle loneliness is to live to please ourselves. We can seek out relationships which we can use for our benefit, we can do things which will give us a moment of pleasure and dull the feeling in our heart, and can try to find the "one" who will make our lives complete. That way will not provide us with what our heart is truly longing for, it just dulls the feeling.

The second way we can deal with loneliness is to live to please Christ. Isn't that what worship is? It is a response to the one who has given us so much. It is through worship we discover what our heart longs for. Not only the love for God, but having a relationship with Him. It is through our relationship with God which provides the final answer to the problem of loneliness in our lives.

If you are lonely, the answer is not in a new relationship, a weekend fling, or the bottom of a bottle. The answer is worship. Living to please Christ. It is a relationship with God that our heart longs for, and that relationship is only possible through Jesus.


Tyler said...

Since i have become a Christian, Christ has lead me on a road of solitude. For the first five years of my walk i spent all of my time alone with him worshiping him with my time and all of my thoughts. What hurt is that my friends seemed to push me away, and my void was filled by seeking the Lord. The Lord was drawing me to a place of getting to know him and having a personal relationship with him Yet i often grow tired of being alone with the Lord. It has been so long since i have been with someone intimately that i long for human contact. But you are right, and i know in my spirit that seeking the Lord is the only way to fill my void. He seems to box me in until i have no where else to turn. This may seem strange and that i am having growing pains with the Lord, but i am only telling the truth. I believe he is leading me to a place of where i truly do not live for myself but for him. And it stinking hurts. I pray that i will learn how to put my flesh to death and trust in where the Lord is leading me. My soul longs and aches deeply, and I am forced to seek him. I desperately need to let go of this life and trust in the one to come, but it is so hard and I struggle daily. I have not fully blossomed to where I need to be and don’t know if I ever will, but what I must do is forget what is behind and strain towards what is ahead.

Anonymous said...

I was separated in September of last year. Since then I have spent a great deal of time alone and I have learned that many people are missing out by not having time alone with God. I hunted this fall and spent hours deep in the woods high up in a tree. Truly with all the talk about how important church attendance is, I truly believe time alone with God is more important. On the other hand, we humans are intended to be social creatures. Yes there are places all through the Bible that talk about being alone in the wilderness, but you would be hard pressed to find the Bible recommending really long periods of aloneness. That doesn't however mean romantic involvement. It really isn't good for man to be alone.

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