Loneliness. A feeling that ripples through our society and communities, causing destruction, leaving debris wherever it flees. A fear that trickles into our thought processes when entering into friendships, relationships and many other areas of life. It causes insecurity, anger, outbursts and if not dealt with, the fear of it alone can spin you into a valley of actual loneliness. If you are reading this, you have without a doubt been in a place of loneliness at one time or another.
The reason we fear it so much is because we are powerless when trying to avoid it. It can only be given to us or given from us. The power someone has to enter our lives, disturbing our current living to bless us with a new and exciting presence is an incredible gift of freedom from God that we should cherish so dearly, but it comes with the growing power those people have in that they can vacate as quickly as they arrived, with no warning or reason. Loneliness comes with no expiry date or warning label, it dawns on us like darkness. This fear suspended over every encounter we have leads us to do things out of our normal character. Doing things we usually wouldn’t do to conform to a group, create distant from people that love us so we don’t get hurt and so much more.
Though loneliness is a valid fear, it doesn’t need to be when you have God. The story of Hagar and Ishmael shows this so beautifully. Due to Sarah’s insecurities, Hagar and her son Ishmael (born of Sarah’s husband Abraham) were sent out into the desert, alone.
Genesis 21:14 [NIV]
“Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba”.
Out in the desert, Hagar weeps, that feeling of loneliness and abandonment seeping in, But God meets her in her abandonment and loneliness, leading her to a well to get water, giving her and Ishmael the hope of a future.
Genesis 21:16-19 [NIV]
“And as she sat there, she began to sob. God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her ‘What is the matter Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation’ Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin of water and gave the boy a drink”.
In your loneliness, in your fears, God wants to ‘open your eyes’ and take you to the well. He will never abandon us. He wants to take us by the hand and lead us into friendships and relationships boldly, with no fear of loneliness but just love and acceptance. Don’t allow fear or past experiences stop you from stepping into what God has for you. Don’t allow the whispers of the enemy to lead you into an isolation of lies. With God in our lives we will NEVER be lonely. When I feel fearful of loneliness or wanting to take a step back, I’m reminded of the lyrics in Hillsong’s song ‘Oceans’
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown
Where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
Allow Him to call you out upon the waters. to pick up the pieces of devastation that people have left behind. He wants to carry our fears and burdens and step into His security.