In the first article on Loneliness – Part 1 – we read that many famous people, and many important Biblical characters – such as King David and the prophet Elijah – suffered loneliness; and in Part 2 we read about who are the loneliest people today.
“Loneliness is not the same as being along. Loneliness is feeling alone … no matter how many people are around you. It is a feeling of being disconnected, unplugged, left out, isolated.”
Tim Hansel (1941-2009), Christian author (https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-17-lessons-loneliness)
It is true to say that you can feel lonely in a crowd, and our cities are often the loneliest places. Crowds of people, but strangers, thousands of people hustling and bustling, milling around, dashing from here to there with no purpose or plan, wondering aimlessly from place to place, with meaningless tasks and pointless pursuits, working their way home at the end of the day to an empty, lonely, desolate existence until the next day begins.
Jeremiah is one of the best known prophets in the Bible, a man of God, chosen before his birth to be His messenger.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
Yet, despite being called by God, he suffered persecution – he was attacked by his own brothers, beaten and put into the stocks by a priest and false prophet, imprisoned by the king, threatened with death, thrown into a cistern by Judah’s officials, and opposed by a false prophet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiah).
We, too, can feel battered and bruised, beaten and broken, but we – too – have been called by God, chosen by Him long before we were born:
“‘… He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.’”
And having chosen us, He remains close to us and looks after us. He guides us through His Word.
“Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.”
“God places the lonely in families.”
But it’s not just down to Him – we have a part to play too:
“There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”
So may you, if you’re alone and lonely – find a friend; may you, if you’re alone but not lonely – be a friend. And may you, friends, stick closer than a brother. In Jesus’ name, Amen.