Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
Psalm 25:16 (NRSV)
How often have we said that we miss fellowshipping with other Christians in our congregations? Probably most of us – I have. I think it is one of the worst aspects of lockdown and I’m sure many of you will agree. God never intended for mankind to be alone. He states, ‘…“It is not good that man should be alone…” ’ (Genesis 2:18). And so He created Eve as a companion for him (v.23). God himself lives in harmony and not alone – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Some signs of loneliness include boredom, excessive tiredness, or lack of ‘get-up-and-go’. That last one can be strange; for me, it should logically give me more time to write Word of Life articles but the lack of ‘get-up-and-go’ can instead make it harder, as I struggle to energise my mind.
Do we find loneliness in the Bible? Of course. The Bible is full of ordinary human beings like you and me, and some of them were extremely lonely. One particular example is Jeremiah. He was prophesying to Jerusalem at the time of Judah’s exile. Part of their punishment for their infidelity was the loneliness of exile, and Jeremiah experienced it himself. He said to God: ‘…under the weight of your hand I sat alone…’ (Jeremiah 15:17). Even Jesus would have experienced forms of loneliness when on the cross (Mark 15:34).
Those Bible examples were not inflicted in a pandemic caused by a virus. And I wonder, can we find some ways of being comforted and strengthened in our loneliness? The Bible has suggestions that I think could help. Let’s look at one: ‘For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 8:38-39).
It’s not easy to switch off our loneliness. But knowing the signs may help us. And sharing Paul’s refusal to be weighed down by them also helps. And God, in Jesus, has shared our sufferings. Let us look to Him in times of loneliness..
Father in heaven we have no other source of strength through this pandemic but you. May your Holy Spirit encourage us to turn to you in times of loneliness and, as we have the opportunity, to encourage others. We ask this in the name of our saviour Jesus, Amen.
Study by Christopher Reeves
About the writer:
Christopher Reeve is a Minister and Assistant Pastor of
the Blean (Canterbury) congregation of
Grace Communion International, called the Invicta Fellowship
Blean Village Hall
Canterbury CT2 9JA
Saturday 11:30 am
Local congregational contact:
Word of Life contact: