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Tag Archives: Loneliness

  • Combating Loneliness

    Posted on December 20, 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer

    Samantha Evilsizer

    "My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted." Psalm 25:15-16 (ESV)

    Don't look his way, her heart and mind insist.

    She doesn't want to look. Then again, she does. Though my friend did not check the "Plus One" box on her RSVP card, she wishes she had. Why had she come to this party alone? Maybe then she wouldn't gravitate to him.

    He's reckless and destructive. My friend knows better, but he's the only one who can relate to her. Even so, she avoids eye contact, hoping to make him believe she doesn't need him anymore.

    She succeeds until another round of laughter fills the Christmas party. Her resolve walks out as he walks up to her, extending a knowing hand. Fingers entwined, she falls in his snare. She can't stand him ... this companion called loneliness.

    In the midst of listening to marriage, baby, vacation, life-is-grand stories, she hears the voice of loneliness, high above the conversations: You'll never have this. You'll be lonely forever.

    She had promised herself she wouldn't turn her eyes to him this time. As she was getting ready for the party, she put this truth on: "My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted." (Psalm 25:15-16 ESV)

    But she forgot this hopeful promise as she fell into the trap of loneliness.

    By the time the clock chimed an acceptable hour to bid her goodbyes, she was eager to be gone. One step out the door and she lowered her guard too soon. Loneliness had saved his best for last. Powerfully, he pummeled lies until she believed: You will always be lonely.

    When he trotted off, leaving her alone, a different hand reached down. One that is gentle and healing. Let me help you up. Rough night, huh?

    She looked up to see His scarred hand extended.

    How'd You know I was here?

    He tells her He's been there the whole time, always near, at the ready to rescue any time she looked to Him for help. As she faced Him, He began to untangle the false claims of loneliness with truth: I am near (Psalm 145:18). I will never leave (Deuteronomy 31:6). I am your joy (Psalm 16:11).

    Hollow parts of her heart filled with the confidence of Jesus. She knew it was time to break-up with loneliness for good. Not just at parties, during holidays, or weekends with nothing planned.

    Maybe it's your time too? Truth is, loneliness can tag along whether you are alone or surrounded by family and friends, on special days and ordinary days.

    There's only one way to keep loneliness from being a constant companion in life. It is to make sure our "... eyes are ever toward the LORD ..." Psalm 25:15a (ESV).

    Let's keep our focus on God and call out to Him when we feel loneliness setting a trap for us: in the festive times, in the quiet times, at all times.

    Dear Lord, my eyes are ever toward You, for only You will release my feet from the trap of loneliness. Will You please turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted? Thank You for being near and being my joy. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Christmas can be a time when loneliness is overwhelming. If you struggle with this, what can you do to combat loneliness?

    Choose a Bible verse to memorize that you will use to fight loneliness. Write it on a piece of paper or make it your phone/computer screen saver as a constant reminder of the nearness of Jesus.

    Power Verses:
    Deuteronomy 31:8, "It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." (ESV)

    Lamentations 3:22-26, "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.' The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD." (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Psalm, Loneliness

  • A Remedy for Loneliness

    Posted on October 9, 2013 by Van Walton

    Van Walton

    "... those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25 (NLT)

    I've spent much of my life as the new kid on the block. My daddy's job took him to numerous foreign countries, so I grew up living in far-away and strange places. When we returned "home" to put down permanent roots in the United States, I felt like a lonely outsider.

    This nomadic childhood followed me into my adult life as my husband's career moved us cross-country many times.

    As the newcomer in school, women's Bible studies, and jobs, I experienced not having friends, being excluded, and feeling different.

    Though these isolating seasons were tough, something wonderful grew out of them: my relationship with God. Spending time with Him, I gained a new perspective on loneliness while reading Scripture. One verse in particular stood out to me: "... those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed" (Proverbs 11:25).

    Reading this challenged me. Rather than cast responsibility on others to reach out to me, I could reach out to them. By doing so, I found I could bless them and revive myself! It took some time, but over the years I've discovered several key elements to living out this verse: learn to be a good friend, intentionally include others, and develop an interest in diversity.

    Last year during the annual family night at the school where I teach, I spotted a mother sitting alone in a large room. God nudged me, and I knew what to do. I wasn't surprised she was by herself, because as I drew closer, I recognized her as the mother of one of our international students.

    We definitely had our differences: a gap in our ages, language barriers that made us struggle to understand each other, and our different cultures. But we persevered and after a while we found common ground. She admitted to being lonely as a stranger in a foreign country. That I understood. Also, we were women, wives, mothers, friends. Most importantly we had a common faith.

    That night, I gained a new friend.

    We began to meet regularly. She told me about her recent conversion to Christianity and asked lots of questions. She had a few friends, like her, who had come to the United States to expose their children to an American education. These women also wondered about Christianity, the Bible, and Jesus. Could they join us?

    We began huddling once a week around God's Word, talking about the creation, King David, and grace.

    School ended. Summer started. They flew home. We promised to resume our studies this fall.

    As this new season begins, I'm anticipating our weekly meetings; I miss my new friends and the happiness and laughter they bring.

    Loneliness, if left unchecked, can lead to isolation, which may produce weariness, sadness and discouragement. This is not God's plan for our lives. He has called us to live in community, reaching out to others, serving, comforting, and fellowshipping.

    Let me encourage you to be aware of others–in your neighborhood, your children's school, your church. Ask God to lead you to other women who are lonely. We long to be included, to feel like we belong, to have caring friends. One of the best ways to do this is to refresh someone else! You'll never experience that woman's amazing friendship, or be revived by her, until you reach out and invite her into your life.

    Father God, You are a friend to the stranger, the wanderer, the lonely. Forgive me for sitting in my comfort zone and ignoring those around me who long for community. Remind me to practice hospitality, not just with my friends but with outsiders also. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    How has loneliness robbed you of life's joys?

    What are some ways you can practice hospitality? Perhaps become involved in welcoming newcomers to your church or neighborhood.

    Power Verses:
    Romans 12:10-13, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love...practicing hospitality." (NASB)

    Hebrews 13:2, "Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!" (NLT)

    © 2013 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Proverbs, Loneliness

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