Lonely? Look Up!
(Posted August 25th 2017 @ 8:10 PM by: Adena Pedigo)
Lonely? Look Up!
By Megan McNeal
Some days it hits hard and without warning. You were doing so good, feeling so strong. Then the wave hits so fast it almost takes your breath away…. Loneliness.
The simplest things trigger it. Seeing a couple walk hand in hand … an anniversary that’s no longer happy … a table-for-two with only you … that minute your children leave with your ex-spouse and suddenly your home is silent and your heart hurts…. Loneliness.
And you wonder for the thousandth time: Will I ever get past this? And is there any point to this intense feeling of alone-ness?
During my painful years of marriage issues, separation, and divorce, I desperately sought ways to alleviate the gut-wrenching feeling of isolation. I tried books and movies, talking with anyone who would listen, immersing myself in projects, and even trying out a new relationship or two post-divorce (which did not go well, believe me - it was way too soon).
But at the end of each day the alone-ness would hit again. Hard.
This wasn’t working. What was I missing?
I kept coming back to the soul-searching question: could there be a purpose in our loneliness? That would make it easier to bear. If “ALL things work together for good to them that love God”, like Romans 8:28 promises, then there must be SOMEthing good that can come out of loneliness. But what???
Finally, after trying so many things, I came back to where I should have started – my Heavenly Father. The Source of Life and Wisdom. The Source of true, lasting Love.
And I finally, desperately, asked Him. “Lord, what is the purpose in this loneliness?”
And He was silent.
Or perhaps I wasn’t really listening. (Very likely.)
Or maybe the silence was an invitation to search deeper. Hmmm… could it be?
So I kept asking, seeking. And He showed me something I had never seen before. An amazing truth smothered by my frantic running after what I thought would make me happy.
“The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.” (Psalm 14:2 and 53:2)
I discovered that GOD is searching, too. For US.
Did you catch that? GOD – the Almighty, All-Sufficient One who made the universe - is actually longing for US, His children. To notice Him. To hear Him. To love Him and honor Him. The very things we long for and search for … it’s a reflection of a deeper, stronger emotion that comes from Him. We are made in His image - so our longings are a reflection of His!
WHOA, wait … God is longing for ME? For MY love? Really??!! All this time He’s been waiting for me to stop running like crazy and look toward Him?
It seemed too wonderful to believe. So I searched more…. I wanted, needed to understand this!
I paged through the Psalms, one of my greatest comforts. In Psalm 42, the writer, likely King David, poured out his hurt and longings to God.
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise….
Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” (verses 1-5)
I could totally identify with this.
Loneliness. Longing for deep connection. Sad memories. Questions.
“Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.” (verse 7)
I knew well the deep emptiness inside me – the aching for close, personal love and relationship. “Deep calleth unto deep….” Does God have this same depth of longing? Only His must be far greater and deeper. The immense depths within His heart and greatness are calling to the depths in me.
Could my loneliness be an INVITATION - to come closer to His heart?
I read further. In the middle of exile, an ocean of fear and rejection, David revealed the solution to that huge inner emptiness:
”O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore WILL I REMEMBER THEE….
Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and MY PRAYER UNTO THE GOD OF MY LIFE.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? … HOPE THOU IN GOD: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (verses 6, 8, 11)
The only thing that can fill the inner void of loneliness is the fathomless ocean of our Father’s Love! When I open up my emptiness to His greatness, I FEEL Him. And I remember that He. Is. God.
We are LOVED – eternally and completely and faithfully loved! But we rarely stop long enough to realize this and receive it.
So maybe loneliness is a GIFT in disguise. A way to draw us deeper into our Father’s heart to find the true connection that only HE can give. A stirring reminder that we need to get alone with the Lord of Love; to talk with Him, share our heart and hurts with Him, and let Him overwhelm us in the knowledge that He is ENOUGH.
So when loneliness hits … let it remind you to lift your longings to Jesus and let the glory of His presence fill that void.
I know, I know. Our first reaction is to call someone – anyone - or reach for that favorite romance dvd and a chocolate bar (maybe 2 or 3).
But just try it. Make God your FIRST resort, not last.
Because He’s longing for you, too.
The more I remember to do this (with my sticky notes everywhere!), the easier it becomes, so now I more naturally turn to Him for that connection I used to seek everywhere else. And now I FEEL HIM with me in a way I never knew was possible before. It softens the loneliness and leaves me far more content in His love.
There’s a beauty in the loneliness. An invitation to the very heart of God Himself. And really, it’s all about Him anyway.
Are you lonely? Look up!
“Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8