By Pastor Rick Anderson
In a certain suburban neighborhood, there were two brothers, 8 and 10 years old, who were exceedingly mischievous. Whatever went wrong in the neighborhood, it turned out they had a hand in it. Their parents were at their wits’ end trying to control them.
Hearing about a priest nearby who worked with delinquent boys, the mother suggested to the father that they ask the priest to talk with the boys. The father agreed that they needed to do something and maybe this was the answer.
The mother went to the priest and made her request. He agreed, but said he wanted to see the younger boy first and he wanted to see him alone. So the mother sent him to the priest.
The priest sat the boy in a chair across a huge, impressive desk. For about five minutes they just sat and stared at each other. Finally, the priest pointed his finger at the boy and asked, “Where is God?” The little boy got out of his chair and began to look around the room. He looked under the desk, in the corners of the room and in the closets, but said nothing.
Again the priest looked at the boy and said, “Where is God?” Again the boy looked all around the room but said nothing. A third time, in a louder, firmer voice, the priest leaned across the desk and put his finger almost to the boy’s nose, and asked, “Where is God?”
The boy panicked and ran all the way home. Finding his older brother, he dragged him upstairs to their room. After catching his breath he finally said, “We are in big trouble!” The older boy asked “What do you mean, big trouble?” His younger brother replied, “God is missing and they think we did it!”
When you are lonely and you think no one cares, God is there. He will never be missing.
It’s a proven fact, the somebodys, the nobodys, the anybodys, and everybodys at some time in life are lonely.
When God created Adam it was not long before God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helpmeet for him” (Genesis 2:18). Adam looked at all the animal life and saw that there was two of every kind but there was only one of him. Adam was lonely and God provided a helper and companion to keep him from being so lonely.
Loneliness is everywhere. Nearly everybody has, at some time or another, been a victim of the isolation and separation loneliness produces.
When we talk about loneliness we need to understand that there is a difference in being alone and being lonely. You can be alone and not be lonely. In fact, there are times in life when there is a need to be alone.
Jesus is a good example of this. We read in Matthew 14:23, “And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.”
The example of Jesus teaches us that there is a need for being alone at times. We need to get alone to pray, meditate, read God’s Word, etc. An important part of the Christian life is being alone with God.
Loneliness comes when we are forced to be alone. Solitude can be started and stopped at will. Loneliness is painful, draining, and unpleasant. Solitude can be refreshing, rejuvenating and enjoyable.
What is loneliness? Basically, loneliness is that feeling of being unnoticed, unloved, uncared for and unneeded. Loneliness sometimes hits us even when we aren’t alone. Most of us have had the experience of feeling lonely even when we are surrounded by people.
What’s the answer? Space in this article won’t allow for an extended response but the best answer that I can offer is that when you feel like there is no one to turn to, look to, talk to, and go to in your time of loneliness, you can always turn to God. He will always be there when you need Him. You can always take your lonely heart to Him. When you are lonely and think no one cares, God is there. He will never be missing.