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Preacher's pulpit: Is loneliness your problem?

February 22, 2002|By BASIL BELL, Special to this newspaper

Human beings are like porcupines. They love to get together even though it hurts.

Sometimes it hurts terribly to mix with others. Charlie Brown in the Peanuts cartoon strip said, "I love humanity, it's people I can't stand!"

There are times when each of us feels like that about others. Yet one of the greatest sorrows that can come to anybody is the sorrow of loneliness.

People everywhere are saddled with the problem of loneliness.

Maybe you are in a crowded school, but have no true friends. A multitude of people is no solution for loneliness.


Maybe you're single and think, "if I could only share my heart with someone, how different my life would be!"

Then on the other hand, maybe you're in a marriage, but one that lacks companionship and you feel far away from your spouse. Or you're someone who has lost a loved one and you don't know how you can go on without the company of your spouse or special friend. Or you have reached the "golden years" of life and you have been placed you on a shelf and life is passing you by.

Studies have shown that loneliness is not good for us. Drs. Kurt Butler and Lynn Rayner, in their book "The Best Medicine," bring out that there is a strong correlation between social isolation, disease, and death. This is why in the very opening pages of the Bible, God says, "It is not good for the man to be alone "(Genesis 2:18).

The first thing to be said is that in reality none of us is ever really alone. To understand that will take much of the sting out of loneliness. God's presence can be a constant source of comfort.

True religion is lived in the company of God. He wants to be as close to each one as breathing.

The Bible assures us of God's willing presence in our lives. God says, "My presence will go with you, and give you rest " (Exodus 33:14). This Scripture promises God's presence in our frazzled, frenzied lives. God will give us rest.

Yet another promise says, "For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and with him who has a contrite and humble spirit.'" (Isaiah 57:15).

God is willing to live at your house if you will humbly open up your heart and your home to Him. God has promised to every person who comes to Him, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Hebrew 13:5,6). He will never forsake you or leave you despite your sins, failures, and weaknesses. He is ever for you and not against you.

Commune is the key to the presence of God with at all times. God communes with us through His Word the Bible and we may commune with Him through prayer. Prayer does not have to be a prolonged time on your knees, but the habit of speaking to God briefly about everything.

Whatever you are doing, with your eyes open, you can speak to God about anything that worries or distresses, about that which rejoices or perplexes you. If we know God, we should be speaking to Him continually about everything.

So to avoid loneliness, practice the presence of God. Spend time with God through the study of His Holy word and talk with Him as you would with a friend.

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