Scripture for today: Psalm 102:7.
Addressing this subtly-tormenting emotion, let’s begin by defining what loneliness isn’t.
First, loneliness isn’t the same as being lonesome. You can be lonesome without being lonely. Leaving the familiarities of a town I lived in my entire life, I was lonesome as a college freshman three hours away from home. However, I wasn’t lonely. In fact, I quickly made new friends, finding myself invigorated by my studies, activities, and new surroundings.
Also, loneliness isn’t synonymous with solitude. It would behoove us, in fact, to break away from the noise and confusion of life and get alone with God. Jesus often sought solitude, withdrawing from the crowds into secluded places. American poet and novelist May Sarton said, “Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.”
Finally, loneliness isn’t the same as isolation. You can very easily experience loneliness in a crowd. Quite frankly, crowds often enhance loneliness.
Having touched on what loneliness isn’t, allow me to make a brief statement about what it is: “Loneliness is a painful sense of being unwanted, unneeded, uncared for, maybe even unnecessary.”
If you find yourself in such a state, realize first that you have a friend in Jesus. Getting to know Him better counteracts loneliness. Also, immerse yourself in a community of believers, waiting not for someone to take the initiative.
This devotion is based from Gaddis’ book “Manage Your Emotions.”