Loneliness… The Gift from God

I think if the question were asked, “What are the bad feelings that none of us want to feel” I believe loneliness would be somewhere at the top of the list.  These “bad feelings” often get misunderstood and are thought to be only negative, or destructive to us. Truth is, God is behind more of these feelings than we may think.

Think about loneliness for a moment, what are some of the things it motivates you to do? When we get lonely we start calling up friends, looking for something fun to do, sit down to watch some TV or a movie, or grab a good book. No matter what it is we do, we just don’t want to feel lonely any longer. Fact is, God uses loneliness to draw us closer to Him, but we often times fail to see it. We think there is just no way God could ever use such a feeling to try to get our attention. But He does.

How a person handles themself while lonely speaks volumes of their character. I’ve never heard of a satisfied house wife cheating on her husband, or a satisfied young person committing suicide. It’s loneliness that drives a person mad; or is it really just giving us the time to self reflect and discover who we truly are inside? Sure, we can turn up the music to try and drown out the voice, but it’s still speaking. Our hearts are longing for a deeper relationship with God, but we’re just confused. We’ve so disparately tried to fill up every moment with stuff so that we never have to be alone with our thoughts.

Understanding how to deal with these thoughts, and no longer having to shut them out is the true key to happiness, joy, and peace.

False Conditioning 

We are conditioned to believe that God would never want us to be lonely, or struggle, or worst of all, hurt. We are conditioned to believe that when we’re lonely, our “idle minds are the Devil’s playground”. This misconception opens us up to all sorts of other misunderstandings. Such as, “maybe I’m lonely right now because I’m not busy enough for God. Or maybe I’ve somehow displeased Him and He’s left me and will not return until I make things right.”

These thoughts are all products of a poor understanding of loneliness.

Loneliness, the Gift from God

“Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:30-31 ESV).

I wonder if “waiting on the Lord” ever produced any loneliness in the heart of man? Even King David said, “When though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). Sounds like to me loneliness was something this king was very familiar with.

His adolescent days were spent all alone out in the fields watching over his father’s sheep. No friends, no family, or entertainment to keep him occupied. It was just him, God, the sheep, and his worship. It was the burning desire to worship that kept him fulfilled. And loneliness was the gift God that gave to David to help him find that place of worship, and ultimately, would shape and mold him into a king that would later be called, “The apple of God’s eye”.

Maybe it’s time we stop running from loneliness and start embracing the gift God that God is trying to give us.

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11 thoughts on “Loneliness… The Gift from God

  1. Loneliness is a hard thing. It’s one of those challenges that force the believer to trust what we can’t see. It makes us change our minds, our thinking. We are accustomed to having silence filled with voices and activity. The absence of noise makes us lonely.

    BUT…. when we think like God thinks, when we see like He sees…. then we realize we are never really alone. A quick read of Psalm 139 proves it. Looking up, and not in, removes loneliness.

    Good stuff, Bro. Showalter. Please keep writing. Transparency is good for reader and writer alike.

    Kris Newman

  2. Loretta Hughes says:

    I did not realize what loneliness was until I lost my husband 4 months ago. He was my world and a man after God’s own heart. Now I am left here with memories of everything God did and everything God gave to us. I might not understand but I do know I will see him again one day.
    Thank you so…….much for the encouraging words and may God bless your ministry.

    Your Sister in the Lord,
    Loretta

    • mshowalter says:

      God bless you Sister Hughes, I’m so sorry for your loss. Just remember the words of God in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

  3. Liz Holtz says:

    Iam one of many that feels all alone in the crowd of people or even with my family. I also spend many restless nights trying to sleep some times just wishing that I would pass out from totaly exhaustion.

    A few months ago at youth camp I meet a great lady of God that helped explain lonliness to me and how God uses it. It got me fired up and I worked toward that but as the months passed I of course forgot about what she said.

    This blog is just what I needed to get back on that path that i was directed to before.

    Thank you Bro.Showalter you have reminded me again of what direction God is leading me and how he uses lonliness to draw us back to him.

    Liz

  4. Pete Shilts says:

    Lately I have been going through some real tests of commitment. In these trials & tests I have found myself overwhelmed with a feeling of loneliness that I haven’t been able to explain. It had become so bad that even during church when the power of God was moving in an awesome way I felt all alone & even forsaken. Sleep wouldn’t come & when it did it was restless to put it mildly. There has been a real battle going on inside of me that though I’ve tried to figure it out & even explain it away, I haven’t been able to.

    At the present time I live nearly five hundred miles away from any of my family. Though my wife’s family lives nearby, their relationship isn’t what it should be. MY desire has been to move back closer to my family & move forward with life there. All the while I, in MY mind, believing that the answer to my loneliness rested in us moving. When in reality I was never really seeking the direction that God had for me or my family.

    Then in the middle of the night, when sleep would still not come, it hit me like a ton of bricks. You see, when I first moved to where I am at now it wasn’t fully my choice. Circumstances & past decisions had dictated that I would be here. Yet through them, God was able to lead me to a GREAT church where if I would be willing to be submissive & become grounded & established He could do with me what He desired for me. Even with such a great church though I’ve struggled greatly with what to do, where to go, & being committed.

    Yesterday at church we had a guest speaker from Michigan, an awesome man of God who hit the “nail right on the head”. After that service I have really been doing some soul-searching, talking with solid men of God & seeking godly counsel. Then this morning I received a message on FB from Bro. Mark Showalter asking me to read his latest posting here on “Loneliness”. After reading it & the other postings I spent some time in prayer. I now know that if I will just stop trying to figure this out on my own & allow Him to lead me, then everything will work out alright.

    To anyone struggling with loneliness I want to encourage you to simply trust in God. Trusting in God is what we all must do, especially in the times when or faith is wavering. For it is in the times when our faith falls short that TRUST kicks in & carries us through the trials & tests.

    Thanks Bro. Showalter for sharing with me your words of encouragement!!!!!! GOD BLESS YOU!!!

    With love in Christ,
    Bro. Pete Shilts

  5. Beverly Licciardo says:

    This morning as I was praying I was thanking our awesome God FOR OUR BEAUTIFUL HOME THE PLANET EARTH. The abundance of food the amazing variety that the Lord gave us. The beauty we see everyday by just looking out our windows. Why I am thankful has an almost endless list.
    I thank you Jesus for being born in America where we are free to live and make our own choices. I thank you Jesus for our church where we are free to worship. I thank you oh Lord for our wonderful Pastor and our awesome leaders for our body of saints that are always there to pray for us and lend a helping hand in times of need.
    I am thankful I am blessed .I love my Lord God with all my heart.

    Thank you Jesus for all my blessing .
    Sister Licciardo

  6. Mary Unz says:

    Boy – that message was for me! I know Jesus is constantly saying “Be Still” ! Our lives are soooo full and we can be in the midst of a million people but still be lonely! When we are alone we can’t handle it because we are so used to the crowds, the noise, the busy momentum. Many times, God just says “STOP” – come, sit awhile with me, I have MUCH to tell you! That’s when we really need to take heed and just be quiet, still our mind and focus on our Savior!

    Thanks, Pastor Mark!

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