Mondays and every day is a dreaded day when we are feeling lonely. I didn’t say “alone”–I said “lonely”! Being alone and being lonely isn’t the same thing. Loneliness doesn’t depend on the absence of people. We can be in a room full of people and still be lonely. We can be alone but never feel lonely. So, what is the difference?
Loneliness is the result of a myriad of experiences. Abandoned. Disappointed. Forsaken. Neglected. Ignored. Despised. Hated. Misunderstood. Resented. These are just a few of the reasons we feel lonely. To fight loneliness we often make poor choices–just to escape those deep, dark feelings. Back to the previous paragraph. Satan lies to us when he tells us that being alone and beling lonely are the same thing–though they are not the same. Thinking they are the same is only a bandaid fix–eventually lonliness returns.
This season of pandemic hasn’t helped–it has exacerbated the condition of loneliness. And though social media can be a useful tool, it is not the vaccine to cure loneliness. Social media serves the lonely by creating a make-believe world where we are surrounded by people who like, love, care, wowed, cry, and get angry right along with us. Emojis and gifs are replacements for deep, caring relationships. So what’s a lonely person to do?
Glad you asked! It’s not easy, but it is simple. Alienate and isolate those two words: lonely and alone. Then deal with that latter word: alone! Now, tell that feeling of being alone that it’s nothing but a liar–because it is! We are NEVER alone. We may feel that way–but feelings aren’t always truthful. There is ONE who is always present. Psalm 139 is a great song to read when we feel lonely. So is Jeremiah 23, verse 24–“Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” says the Lord.”
So you see–we are never alone. But loneliness will persist. Fighting that requires a different battle tactic. The first step is to build a deep, faithful relationship with God. Talk to, even call out to the Holy Spirit–and you will find He’s right there with you. And begin to build deep relationships with others–especially those who exude the presence of God in their daily walk. Do you want to make more friends? Then be a friend to someone else. The word “church” wasn’t used in the beginning–the word was Koinonia! It means fellowship and it means holding something in common. Jesus knew loneliness–he said so from the Cross–“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
We don’t make koinonia happen–we step into koinonia. God is there with us wherever we are and in whatever we face. And He’s not alone! Remember He is 3 in 1–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then He established koinonia in the hearts and lives of others–and the Koinonia is still around us today. Quit trying to make loneliness disappear–step away from it and step into God’s Koinonia. There’s a lot of us already there, and we are waiting for you to step into this amazing fellowship.
When we know the difference between lonely and being alone–and we know that we are never alone because of Jesus, then we can say: “Good! Lord, it’s Monday! What shall we do together?”