Lies of Loneliness
I asked a friend to draw a picture representing ‘Loneliness’. The image you see is what she came back with and it blew me away! I wish you could see the original painting because a photo doesn’t do it justice. She is so talented not just because of her incredible skill, this image perfectly expresses how so many of us can feel…
I am in a time of my life where I often feel alone. If I listened to the world’s standards I am nowhere near where I should be. Currently, I am single, unemployed, living with my parents in a city where I have very few friends. However, recently I realised something, despite all of my current circumstances… the times I feel most alone is when I have neglected my relationship with God. This massively hit me, like someone had just chucked a bucket of ice at me! As I was sat in my pyjamas watching another Netflix original series, I realised what I really missed wasn’t a job, wasn’t a boyfriend or money… it was God. I began crying because all of a sudden, I saw a direct comparison between loneliness and distance from God. Being alone means being separated or isolated; when we choose to cover loneliness by spending time with someone else or doing something else we may for a moment feel fulfilled but ultimately, we will fall and go back to feeling the way this girl is feeling in the picture because we are isolating ourselves from Him! I have all the time in the world right now, something people dream about and with it I have been choosing to sit in loneliness, choosing to feel overwhelmed with seclusion when really, I am not alone. I never have been! God is the one thing in life that can give everlasting joy and relationship, the one thing that can truly get rid of loneliness and not just temporarily.
This doesn’t mean that when we know this we won’t ever feel loneliness again because it is an easy way we can be attacked, and we know that we are in a battle. Staying in relationship with God is a fight, and we have to choose to put on our armour and enter into the battle every day. But we have armour and we have the weapon:
Be strong and courageous… the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you - Deuteronomy 31v6
In all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us - Romans 8 v 37
The lord is a friend to those who fear Him (those who go to Him and live in awe of Him) - Psalm 25v14
And surely I am with you always, to the very end – Matthew 28v20
The first thing I see in this image is the girl, sat looking down at herself. Thinking about every single event and negative emotion that has led to her loneliness. But when you zoom out and look around her there are things we can see by looking up and out that she can’t see looking down. We see the tree she is leaning on, the light from the moon and the blades of grass. There are also things we can’t see but that we know are there like the wind, the sound of crickets, the feeling of the dew on her feet. I look at this girl and see someone who is moments away from finding God. Moments away from looking up and seeing the evidence hidden in plain sight all around her. The evidence that she is not alone, not truly. That there is something more, that He’s there. She is not alone. She never was, she was just looking down.
BTW – We have all been this girl. Maybe you still are… I dare you to take a moment and hear God whispering in the wind ‘my darling, look up!’
When we feel alone it can feel like we are standing in the middle of a dance floor, without any music only eyes watching us, waiting for us to make a move, make a mistake. In the musical Wicked there is a scene like this, Elphaba begins dancing without music and is mocked, she stumbles and feels even more isolated than before. Until, somebody else steps in and takes her place. Glinda begins dancing and then the music begins, and the clumsiness turns into beauty. Elphaba once again joins in but this time she has a partner and she has a melody, she finds her feet. When we try to find a way on our own, without listening to the melody we will fall and feel aware of every wrong step but when we look to God to lead, we realise that He is the way.
It is so easy to believe the lies of loneliness. To be surrounded by people but feel like an outcast, to have no one and feel rejected. But there is always someone else in the room, you are never alone. Next time you are feeling lonely, why not try going to God? Read the bible, watch a sermon, play some worship music. Because, loneliness isn’t possible when we are in the presence of God.