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Bible Study

P A U S E- Loneliness

Loneliness

Feeling lonely has become all too common in our current isolation required setting. We feel alone and separated from the people we love outside of those we are sheltering in place with. Even though we may be living with people we can still feel very lonely when we do not have the freedom to interact with other people in person. An article from medium.com has this to say about the idea of loneliness, “Researchers define loneliness as perceived social isolation, a feeling of not having the social contacts one would like.” Loneliness is often thought of as a warning signal to our body, because we were created to be in contact with other people. In this chaotic time, it is harder to deal with this feeling because we cannot go out and see people and our bodies do not understand why. Since this is the case, I wanted to try my best to provide some encouragement for the lonely. I want to share a bit about the story of David who was forced into a space of loneliness and isolation.

David

David has an amazing story and place in biblical history. His accolades include killing Goliath, becoming a mighty warrior, a King, and receiving the title from God, “a man after His own heart.” David’s story is not one that without bumps in the road, but God redeemed him and used him for His purpose. I want to focus on the part of David’s story that involves him being alone and in exile. The current king of Israel, Saul, knew that David was to take over his kingdom when he died, and Saul was not pleased with this. In fact, this displeased him so much that he made multiple attempts to take David’s life. David fearing for his life, fled away from safety and security into a place of much loneliness and uncertainty. As he was pursued by Saul, David had to look to the Lord time and time again for protection and provision. David cultivated a strong sense of faith in God, as the Lord protected him against every attack and spared David’s life constantly. There is no doubt in my mind that David’s experience of loneliness influenced many of the Psalms that he wrote. The following passages from David’s Psalms provide encouragement for the lonely.  Psalm 40:1-2 says, “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock and established my steps.” David waited through pain and suffering and the Lord heard his continual cry for deliverance. A lesson from this Psalm is to submit your feelings to God and trust that He will hear your cry and deliver you from whatever pit you find yourself in. I also love the second half of this verse, it is beautiful to think about the Lord bringing us up, dusting us off, and setting us on His path again. He will always be faithful and just to set us back when we honestly seek after Him. In Psalm 90:1, 91:1 says, “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting You are God…He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” This portion made me think maybe those times in our life when we feel most alone, is the time when God wants us to dwell in Him the most. When we dwell with Him, in his shadow, He will give us great comfort and peace. All we have to do to abide in Him is to ask. A simple prayer can turn us from our circumstances to the shadow of the Almighty. Something like this: Lord, I feel alone. I feel abandoned and without comfort. Please come and comfort me. Wrap me up in your arms and let me dwell in your shadow. Fill me with the joy of your presence. I love you Lord, Amen.

Tips to Beat Loneliness

As someone who is currently struggling with the effects of the Stay at Home Order, I wanted to share some tips for feeling less lonely. I have been really enjoying reaching out to people in my life, either texting or calling, it helps to feel connected to people even from a distance. If you live in an area where this is possible, I would highly recommend going on social distance walks with others. It has been a safe way to see people and feel connected, while simultaneously getting the benefit of exercise. Setting up time to do some sort of group video call with friends has been really enjoyable for me as well. It has been fun to play some games or just chat with friends, it helps to make life feel more normal. If you are living with people, I recommend setting up some type of special night with them. That could be a game night, a movie night or ordering in your favorite food. Doing something special can make it seem less like you are isolated and more like you are spending fun time with people you love. I cannot recommend enough trying to stay connected as we are designed to be social people, it is immensely helpful to try maintain relationships with others. The Bible states that God sets the lonely in families. If perhaps you do not have a family or you have a strained or toxic relationship with your family, please know that God has placed you in a spiritual family as well. The Body of Christ is also your family, if you are feeling lonely feel free to reach out to fellow students or staff in Chi Alpha, or reach out to fellow church members. God is with you always, and we are here for you!

I hope this can be helpful and that God fills in every one of your gaps. Trust in Him and He will provide for every one of your needs. “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” Matthew 6:25-27

Resources

Free on counselling– UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services (310) 825-0768

https://www.counseling.ucla.edu

If anything is causing you to have suicidal thoughts or ideations, please reach out to someone, such as The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

It will get better. Do not choose a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

The Psychology of Loneliness And What You Can Do About It- https://medium.com/personal-growth/the-psychology-of-loneliness-and-what-you-can-do-about-it-4b113adfaed6

I want to make myself available as a resource, if anyone needs anything.

(530) 863-6128 J.N.

Loneliness is just a temporary feeling, it is not who you are.

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