A Crowd of Loneliness

intervention-lonelyThe older I get, the more I recognize the pervasive loneliness that resides within the souls of most people whom I meet. It’s not that they’re cut off from all human contact, but it’s actually worse than that. They’re alone even when others are around. There is little about their relationships that inspires or delights them. They can converse, but they’re still disconnected. It’s a loneliness that haunts them at the core of who they are, and a loneliness that occludes their vision of the world.

Since God created us for relationship, we know that loneliness is less than what we were made to experience. Sometimes we’re lonely because we’ve chosen to detach ourselves from other people (at least from any meaningful interaction with them) – and this is usually because we’ve been deeply hurt and don’t want to be hurt again. We mistakenly conclude that the secret to protecting ourselves from relational pain is to avoid the risk of entering into any real relationships. What we don’t realize when we do that, however, is that we’re self-inflicting a wound far deeper than the one we’re seeking to avoid.

Thankfully, the Bible offers a way out of our loneliness, and that’s an intimate, life-giving, heart-satisfying relationship with the living God!

As Matthew the tax collector turned gospel writer describes the birth of Jesus Christ, he records these words (1:22-23): “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, GOD WITH US).”

God with us. That’s the secret. If we really believe that, we can launch out into the sometimes scary waters of human relationships. Because we’re not alone. We’re never alone. So if a relationship doesn’t “work out” according to my assessment, I’m still not alone. The real “me” does not hinge upon the value placed on me by any other person, because my real value was settled at the cross.

Perhaps the “best part” of the first resurrection appearance of Jesus – recorded in John 20:17 – is Christ’s announcement that He was ascending “to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Have you ever thought about that? Jesus is telling every Christian believer something marvelous there, namely, that we are children of God! Adopted into God’s own family, with all the rights and responsibilities that such entails.

As our Father’s adopted children, we know that our Father is in control. We fear him, but not in a terrorizing sense. Our fear of God is respect and awe. And nothing makes a child feel safer than knowing that he or she is secure in the care of a loving parent. Our closeness to God is the relational connection that becomes the impetus to pursue closeness with others. Yes, like Jesus, we will get hurt by others in this world – even by some of those we love. But we, also like Jesus, keep extending ourselves in gracious openness toward others. Because that’s who we are in Christ. And, since our soul is content in the unshakeable foundation of our love relationship with our Heavenly Father, we have a never-ending refuge when we need one (Psalm 46).

In Christ our God we find affection that’s true, fellowship that’s real, and self-identity based on fact instead of fiction. And from that place we can love others, because Jesus first loved us (First John 4:19).

So go out on a limb, and love. You were made to love. Loneliness, get lost! Love is here to stay.

Posted in Blog Posts
4 comments on “A Crowd of Loneliness
  1. John Wood says:

    Dear Pastor Moore,
    Thank you for your meaningful messages in “Moore to Life.” Each newsletter ministers to my heart and soul.

    Please be assured of our prayers and interest in all you do. May God continue to bless your every effort in leadership at FBC, Paducah,

    Your Partners in Ministry,
    John & Patricia Wood

  2. Marsha Sanders says:

    I look forward to reading your blog so much. Always very encouraging!!

  3. Michael Muscarella says:

    Wow, the picture says it all: emerging adults (ages 18 to 30) are probably the most disenfranchised and loneliest persons in our church.

  4. jean.k.woody@facebook.com says:

    Rev. Moore, this message touched me! Living the life of a Widow I know loneliness! On July 27, 2010, God brought Albert Granger and me together! We thank you for the beautiful Christian marriage ceremony, and We felt the spirit of Jesus Christ!

    Rev. Dr. Michael Fitzgerald, our minister at Clifford Baptist Church, Amherst, VA, went to Southeastern Theologian Seminary, too! When we shared with Mike, after church today, your name and told him you had married us…he said “I’ve heard that name before!” I will be sending him your Website link! He has been at CBC for 31 years right out of Seminary. Being from Staunton, VA, home of the “STATLER BROTHERS, Mike is very talented with the guitar…they offered him a job and of course being called into the ministry he turned it down! Last night he gave the Invocation at the NASCAR race in Richmond, VA…it was awesome….those that had never heard of Jesus Christ heard last night! Al & I thank you again for a beautiful marriage ceremony!
    Jean Kelly Woody-Granger.

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