A prayer for the lonely
My dad asked me to guest blog for him and I said yes because something has been weighing heavily on my heart. It seems like a lot of people I talk to lately have been fighting this slow moving, dull ache of lonliness. You know when you think everyone else is doing a little better than we are, they have more friends, attend more social events, and they just seem generally more happy. And then you talk to that person and you find out they are battling those same doubts, those same fears.
Maybe that's you? Maybe you're sitting home alone. Maybe you're heart jumps at the sound of your FB notifications buzzing on your phone, only to find out it's that awkward kid that you haven't talked to since high school. Life can be a lonely place, especially when you think you're the only one that is lonely.
Or maybe you feel differently about your loneliness... Maybe you like being lonely. Maybe you sit at home and treasure the quiet. Maybe you find friendships stressful and messy. Life is a lot simpler when you're alone, and no one else really gets it anyways. It's not worth the hassle.
Do you fit in one of those two camps? If we're being honest, we all do. We play the wounded "nobody loves me" card or we play to "nobody understands" any chance we get but we end up isolating ourselves. We try to go it alone, or we put unreasonable expectations on relationships, expecting instacommunity right off the bat. When relationships look like they might require a bit of valunerablity or selflessness we hit the road. Jesus reminds us of this in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
How do we "Boast all the more gladly of my weakness"? How do we stop believing or caving to the lies of loneliness? It's starts in our hearts. It starts by finding our full satisfaction and joy in Christ. It starts by getting our eyes off ourselves and realizing that this is not about us. Imagine how different we would live if we were truly living open, selfless lives. I can tell you one thing, there would be a lot less lonely people. What would happen is we wouldn't hesitate to welcome that new person on Sunday morning, or initiate a coffee with a community group member. When its not about our own personal comfort its not about us being fulfilled in the relationships we have. That hollow ache of loneliness holds little to no power over us because we are committed to building our community. Christ's community. A community where weary, lonely souls find a home.
So next time you hear the whispering lies of loneliness, trust the sufficient grace and remember that Christ suffered the ultimate isolation and loneliness in our place so that we might experience the richness and blessing of knowing what real communion with God is.