by Jim  Mitchell

There are different kinds of loneliness.

There’s physical loneliness, where I’m just basically without physical companionship.  There’s emotional/relational loneliness, where I feel unheard or misunderstood, even from those closest to me and who really care for me.  And there’s core, gut-level, personal loneliness, where it doesn’t matter how many people reach out to me, I still ache inside.

I’ve been pondering this last one lately… the core, gut-level loneliness that sometimes nags at me.  Here are some reflections:

  • No matter how the people around me adjust and attempt to meet my needs, they cannot fill certain voids.  God has reserved the innermost places in my heart and soul for Himself.  If I avoid Him, I’ll always feel a little bit lonely.
  • I’ll most likely express my core loneliness as disappointment with others.  It’s unfair to them and it keeps me from ever discovering the real culprit… that I don’t spend enough time alone with God.
  • Loneliness can be a gift from God.  Jesus made a habit of getting away “to a lonely place” (Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42; Matt. 14:23).  It helped him block out the noise and meet with the Father in prayer.  God wants to meet me there too.
  • Sometimes others will lash out at me because they are not filling the emptiness with God Himself.  I need to be patient with them and pray for them rather than getting offended.
  • Satan would love for me to have all the relational peace and fulfillment this world has to offer if it means I never truly connect in a meaningful way with God as Jesus did.
  • God may choose to deprive me of relational peace and fulfillment if it means I truly connect in a meaningful way with Him as Jesus did.
  • God has created me for meaningful earthly relationships.  But my job is not to avoid or lament times of loneliness.  My job is to breathe deeply from His Spirit and His word.
  • Marriage can soothe relational loneliness, but it can also create loneliness.
  • Marriage can distract me from God or push me towards God, but it cannot replace Him.
  • Parents are often lonely.
  • Unanswered questions or fear/uncertainty can cause me to feel lonely.  Those are times to draw near to Him.

“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” (Mark 1:35 ESV)


Taking it One-to-One:

  •  Are you feeling lonely?  Why?
  •  Are you looking to others to fill voids only God can fill?
  •  Are you working hard to fix relational loneliness?  Is it driving you to lash out at others unfairly?