Manage episode 290317342 series 2800784
The other day, my wife and I were eating at a restaurant, here in our town. We were sitting in an outdoor patio. I noticed an elderly man come in a few minutes after we arrived. The hostess sat him at a table nearby. No one came to join him. He ate alone. He did not pull out his phone and scroll social media, like I probably would have done.
I wondered why he was alone. I didn’t want to assume that he was lonely because on occasion I’m by myself for a quick lunch at a restaurant too. My thought was that perhaps he was a widower. My wife and I decided to engage the man in conversation and quickly a smile crossed his face as we talked together. I left the restaurant wondering how many people nearby are lonely. They feel all alone.
Early in 2018, the United Kingdom appointed a minister of loneliness. A recent study showed that over 200,000 elderly people in Britain had not had a conversation with a friend or relative in a month. As the New York Times reports, research is showing that loneliness can be more deadly to your health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day. And it’s not just older people. University students report feeling very alone because they feel rejected or they don’t fit in.
I once read a study done by the American Council of Life Insurance -- it reported that the most lonely group in America are college students! That was surprising to me -- but according to the report -- it's true! Next on the list are divorced people -- then welfare recipients -- single mothers -- rural students -- housewives -- & of course -- the elderly! Loneliness has become an epidemic.
Genesis 2:18 - “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” God is concerned about our aloneness.
We are relational beings. We hate to be alone. God created us for relationships. This is why we consider solitary confinement to be a punishment. We can stand almost anything in life if we know we are not alone.
But we have found out that even the best of friends cannot meet our desire for the ULTIMATE friendship. Even people with whom we share a a lot in common can’t be around all the time. Lifelong friends move away or die. The most understanding of friends can’t always comprehend what we’re going through. And even the most trusted of friends don’t always prove dependable.
We might ask God, “Why would You make us crave for significant relationships but then deprive us of that very thing?” To which God would smile and reply, “I know you have that longing and I have supplied a way to satisfy your need. I offer you Me. I am the ultimate Companion. I understand you—everything about you. I have been there. I have lived life as a human being and unlike other friends I can and will be with you WHEREVER YOU GO in life.”
Because of Jesus—because of EMMANUEL—God is with us—ALWAYS! In Hebrews 13:5 God says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Psalm 139:7-10 – “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. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
The fact is we will never go where God is not. As Acts 17:27 says, “He is not far from each one of us.” God is ALWAYS with us and through our personal faith in Jesus we can experience God’s ever-presence wherever we go.
Today’s Challenge: If you feel lonely, I encourage you to make time today to worship God. Listen to some praise and worship music. Sing along. Express your love and worship for God. As you do, you will experience his comforting presence. Recognize today that you are not alone. He is with you.