By Chris WittsSunday 23 Feb 2014Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
In the Harry Secombe song “No man is an Island”,he includes the line “no man walks alone”. But I wonder if those words are really true? You can be part of a large crowd and still be terribly alone. I think that if we were really honest most of us would say we fear loneliness. From birth,we have been trying to rid ourselves of a deep rooted sense of loneliness. The warm world of our mother’s womb gave security… and then suddenly we were thrust out into a large world which seemed frightening and strange. Was this the moment when we first felt lonely?
As we grew up we may have been fortunate to find friendship and support in our family … maybe not. It has been said that loneliness is one of the greatest problems of our age. But the Bible seems to indicate it has been a problem from the very beginning. In the first Book (Genesis) we read about Adam,who was the world’s first lonely man. God said “it’s not good for man to be alone. I will make a partner for him”. And the man and woman live in perfect conditions … for a while. Satan tempted them and sin entered their hearts and cut them off from their Creator. And I think,by their action,loneliness entered the world.
The Psalmist knew what loneliness was like … in Psalm 22 verses 1&2 we read his words “My God why have you deserted me? Why are you so far away? I cry out day and night,but You don’t answer,and I can never rest”. Have you ever felt like that? God did something about it by sending us Jesus. He is our best friend,and if we accept the salvation and friendship of Jesus,we will never be alone in the crowd.
So what can we do about it? Loneliness needs to be accepted and understood to be solved. Don’t run away from it and deny it. Do something about it. Perhaps there were unresolved conflicts that remain hidden that make you feel lonely. We need to face the fears or conflicts by being honest with ourself and face up to these intense feelings of loneliness. It’s only then you will be free to change. Often,these problems come from our childhood. Many of us keep living out the programming of our childhood. And loneliness can be an ongoing problem present in childhood. Perhaps you never had a close friend,or did not belong to a group or feel happy in your family. No man is an island – we cannot survive alone.
In Henri Nouwen’s book “The Wounded Healer”,he writes this … “A man can keep his sanity and stay alive as long as there is at least one person who is waiting for him. A dying mother can stay alive to see her son before she gives up the struggle. But when ‘nothing and nobody’ is waiting,there is no chance to survive in the struggle for life”.
So,it’s true we need other people,and we need to make the effort to establish friendships,to stop being lonely. Proverbs 18:24 says “Some friends don’t help,but a true friend is closer than your own family”. Remember others are also feeling lonely and looking for friendship. Introduce yourself to others … be approachable and friendly … use your ‘phone and take a genuine interest in them. And when we think about loneliness in this light,it’s not something to be feared. But it can be a gift,an opportunity for personal growth and life enrichment.
Dick Innes in his book “How do you mend a Broken Heart” says that 80% of life’s satisfaction comes from relationships. People need other people … but there can never be a substitute for faith in God who brings peace and contentment into our lives. With Him,we are never alone … It was Jesus who gave us a life-changing principle when He said “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).