For the first time in a long time, I’m home alone. The dogs are in day-care and my wife is shopping. It feels really strange to have the house all to myself but rather nice too. It’s relaxing and I can focus solely on what I need to do, which right now is writing this blog. My blogs are a strange animal because I never know what I’m going to write until it’s written. I pick up my iPad, start typing and let it just happen, trusting God to provide the words.
Being alone is the thought that’s on my mind right now. I’m enjoying this time of solitude but generally, I like to have company, even if it’s only canine company. I’m not feeling sad though whereas for others loneliness is a big problem. Older people lose their spouses and suddenly spend long hours alone. Single people leave work and go back to empty homes. University students find the social life not as appealing as they’d hoped so they retreat to the loneliness of their dorms. Covid has increased that sense of loneliness when lockdown confined many of us to our homes and still is in many cases.
One of the first things God did after creating man was to create woman. God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (1) God understood, as our creator, that we are better in the company of others. After all, this is the one God who at the same time is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Father, Son and Spirit are seen in the Bible as continuously working together, and that is his pattern for mankind. Being solitary is not God’s way for us. He wants us to share our lives with others and loneliness was never part of his plans.
Loneliness is the product of rebellion and rejection. Man rebelled against God and said we don’t need you in our lives. It wasn’t long before men fell out with each other and said we don’t need you either. Living with others isn’t always easy making choosing a solitary life seem attractive, but it’s not. God said “It is not good for the man to be alone” and the despair often associated with loneliness proves the point. The human heart cries out for company, someone to love and someone to love us.
Although God doesn’t want us to be alone, loneliness is something that he once experienced. When he was crucified Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (2) Nailed to the cross with our sins upon him, he became someone that God his Father was unable to look at. The Bible tells us about God, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil” (3) and so he could not look upon his Son who was bearing our sins, something that God hated. He turned away from Jesus and left him alone for the time when he was punished for our sins, but when that time was complete Father and Son were once again reunited.
As a result of his suffering, Jesus understands loneliness. He knows the agony of heart it creates and it isn’t something he wants any of us to endure. He wants us to be together, to have friends and family, people we can care for and people who care for us. It’s not like that for some people so please don’t forget the lonely. If you know of someone lonely who lives nearby, reach out to them and be a friend. If you are also lonely, you both benefit.
Are you lonely? There is no need. I’m sitting at home on my own but yet I’m not alone. God has promised, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (4) I know I’m never alone. Wherever I am, whoever else I’m with, I know that the Lord is also with me. If the house is empty apart from me he’s right with me. That’s how it is now. That’s why I’m not sad. Even though I like having people around me I can be happy on my own because I’m never alone. Jesus is always with me. Jesus fills all lonely hearts so if you are lonely seek him out and enjoy his continuous presence.
- Genesis 2:18
- Matthew 27:45
- Habakkuk 1:13
- Hebrews 13:5