January 12, 2024
Reframing Our Loneliness
MEREDITH HOUSTON CARR
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"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there." Psalm 139:7-8 (NIV)
"What do you have coming up this week?"
I tried to disguise the crack in my voice as I answered my mom’s question as casually as possible, not wanting her to hear the ache of isolation I felt. "Oh, this and that. You know, busy mom life."
A cross-country move had left me miles away from family and friends. Sure, life was busy in this new place - but busy is a poor substitute for relationships and the security of being known. Those days, loneliness felt like my only friend, a BFF so devoted she would never leave my side.
Perhaps you can relate. The friendships you desire haven't materialized (or perhaps they've fallen by the wayside). The partner you'd hoped to spend your life with hasn't shown up yet (or maybe decided to walk away). Your home that used to buzz with children's laughter and light is all quiet now (or you've dreamed of this home but haven't been able to build it).
Despite all the blessings in your life, there's no denying it - your heart feels the sorrowful squeeze of seclusion.
When loneliness strikes, the Bible provides comfort. In my season of solitude, I especially found encouragement in today's key verses from Psalms, beautifully penned by David:
"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there" (Psalm 139:7-8).
In poetic form, David reminds us of the one crucial truth we can cling to for dear life when loneliness looms: We are never truly alone, no matter how void our hearts or homes feel.
God’s watchful, unwavering presence wraps around us, even when others have walked away. His Spirit goes with us to the world's farthest reaches or into the workplaces where we feel unseen. He holds us steady when grief gnaws at our souls and when the enemy whispers, You will never belong.
Like David, we can learn to reframe how we see lonely seasons - not as a vacuum to fill but as an invitation into a deep and abiding fellowship with our heavenly Father. Through this lens, we can even learn to embrace lonely seasons as a unique opportunity to let Jesus fill our empty spaces. In the process, we'll find that His presence provides an abundance no earthly relationship and no amount of numbing can match!
The next time loneliness squeezes your heart, let it be a reminder to lean into God's unseen, unending presence.
Through prayer, tenderly turn over all your pain and tears to Him.
Then invite Jesus into your empty places, dear one - and prepare to enjoy the comfort of His closeness like never before.
Dear Jesus, thank You for the gift of Your constant presence. When loneliness overwhelms us, remind us that You're calling us into deeper, sweeter fellowship with You. Draw us close to Your heart! In Jesus' Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Isn't it true that sometimes when we're struggling the most, it also feels most challenging to pray? Truthfully, there are times when we simply don't have the words. That's why we put together For the Girl Who Needs Hope: 50 Biblical Prayers for the Hard Moments - pre-written prayers that will speak to the exact situations you are facing. They'll also equip you to walk through hard seasons with a friend who's hurting: You can text her one of these prayers today. Download here!
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (NIV).
How does God's steadfast, loving presence in your life change how you view loneliness? What is one thing He might be trying to teach you in your season of solitude? We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2024 by Meredith Houston Carr. All rights reserved.