Do you feel lonely?
“I will be with you always, even until the end of the age”
I could almost imagine the song “Are you lonesome tonight?” echoing to my ears. There were times those very words reflect exactly how we feel. How many of us battle with loneliness? Though the world has advanced tremendously with all kinds of social networking from facebook to twitter, people are still lonely.
No matter what status we put on facebook; married, single, in a relationship or complicated, we still struggle with loneliness. Some of us normal folks might look at celebrities and think they are far from being lonely since they are constantly surrounded by the glitz and glam of Hollywood or Bollywood. A celebrity might look at us and wished they could just be at home surrounded by family or friends; people they could trust and just be themselves without having to be someone else that the media wants. Remember the late Princess Diana? She admitted she always felt lonely although the whole world adored her and she had fans everywhere.
It is a cruel world for a lot of us. Single people complain that they are lonely because they do not have a lover as a companion. Friends are not enough and sometimes, they do not even have many friends. They crave for intimacy and more often than not, rushed into relationships or casual flings just to not be trapped by loneliness. How many times these bad relationships turned out to be more heartbreaking and hazardous to their lives and before they know it, they are trapped in an endless cycle of casual relationships with a never ending search for the so called perfect partner. They ended up being lonelier than when they were single.
Fresh college graduates who just started work feel lonely being far away from home and the comfort of college life. Some people go through life slaving away hours at work just so they could achieve something in their career but deep inside they feel lonely and they wished with all their heart they could fly around the world and be free to meet everyone. Some people travel the entire globe making friends with the entire universe but yet, they still feel lonely because they do not have a true friend or family or companion by their side. They moved before they even come close to forging real friendships. You might just envy them for their jet-setting lifestyles but could these lifestyles be as great as they seem? Have you watched “Up in the Air” starring George Clooney?” You get the idea.
What about married people? They cannot possibly be lonely, can they? Their spouse is practically stuck to them for life and you wonder why there are still many married people who claimed to be lonely? How many times we see housewives complain of loneliness because the husbands are hardly around due to toiling away hours to provide for their family? Husbands who are working elsewhere like the soldiers on duty in Iraq or an immigrant working as a cleaner in a foreign country; they would spend every day wishing they are home instead of being so far away from their loved ones. There are also couples who seemed happy, living together and who seemed to never quarrel but still feel lonely.
Is there a cure for loneliness? Can we ever escape the cruelties of loneliness? Why do I go on describing the entire scenario above and only make you feel miserable? That is because many of us fit in there one way or another. Perhaps you think there is no way out.
Everyone in life will struggle with loneliness; at least in a phase or some difficult days when there is no one around to be a shoulder to cry on or when you get fired and all your friends and family are far away from you. Some of us feel even lonelier when we try to do the right things and are misunderstood.
I want to tell you something. God knows exactly how you feel. Jesus totally understands your loneliness. You might think that God is just too far away and He is oblivious to whatever that happens to you but you are wrong. If there is one person in the whole world who could comprehend loneliness and relate to you, Jesus can.
Jesus is probably the most misunderstood person in the world. He came to save His people but the very people He wanted to save rejected him and called him a heretic. During the agony in the garden, none of his disciples could stay awake with him. All of them fell asleep and he had to battle the agony he felt alone. How would you feel when you knew what you were going to go through just before it all happened and all you could do was wait? When he was taken to be scourged and crucified, all his disciples left him. Only John remained at the foot of the cross. No one was there to help him. He spent nights and days with his beloved chosen disciples but all of them were too afraid to stand up for him. None defended him.
You might say it is all part of the plan and it needed to be done but as a man, Jesus felt lonely. Jesus could feel exactly how we feel. He was fully man although he was fully God too. Remember when He cried, “Father, father, why have you forsaken me?” He was so lonely to the point that He felt His Father had forsaken Him although as the Son, He knew the Father was always with Him. The worse loneliness one could ever feel is when one has become so close to God and then all of a sudden, you feel God is not there anymore. You feel as if God is rejecting you. You might feel like this but that is far from the truth.
God is always with us. He has promised that He will be with us till the end of days. Jesus said,
“I will be with you always, even until the end of the age” Matthew 28:20
He gives each one of us His Holy Spirit as a companion to be with us and as a counsellor to guide us when we are lost and to encourage us when we feel discouraged.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever” John 14:16
God is with us regardless of how we feel. We must believe that the Holy Spirit who is with us is very much alive and He knows us intimately; even more than any humans can ever understand us. When you feel lonely, come to Jesus. He understands how you feel and He wants even more to console and comfort you in your loneliness.
There is a story I had heard many times and many of you might have heard it too. It’s called ‘Footprints in the Sand”. A man had a dream and he was walking on the beach with God. He could see two sets of footprints on the sand. These footprints represented the various stages in his life. As he walked, he came to very difficult moments in his life and the footprints dwindled into only one set. He was angry as to why God would leave him all alone during his most difficult times in life. He questioned God and believed that God must have abandoned him when the going gets tough. God answered,
“During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you'.
Contrary to whatever you are feeling now, you are not alone. Jesus is carrying you. He loves you so much He died on the cross for you. Do you think He will abandon you now? No human being can ever make you feel complete or fully whole. Everyone will tend to disappoint you in one way or another. If you put your hope and happiness depending on how many friends you have or how many hours your lover could spend with you, you will never have everlasting joy. Even the perfect spouse will have to leave you and this earth someday at an hour that you do not know. You will always feel that emptiness and void in you. That is because each one of us is made to desire God and that void can only be filled with God’s love. When you are filled with His love; that is when you find you can be home anywhere in the world without a single friend but you are not lonely because you have Jesus.
Come to Jesus. Let Him fill you with His love. Let Him whisper to you,
“You are not alone. I am here with you.”