Reed All About It
“REED ALL ABOUT IT!”
Healing the Hurt of Loneliness – “And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone . . .’” Genesis 2:18a, NKJV
Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.
So wrote Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1798 in his famous poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” a poem you probably had to read when you were in high school. He also wrote in that poem:
This soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea
So lonely ‘twas, that God himself
Scarce seemed there to be.
Have you ever felt like that? Or have you ever tried to help somebody who felt like that? Loneliness isn’t a new problem. Loneliness has been with us for a long, long time. “I feel so lonely” is a remark that strikes a sympathetic chord in thousands of hearts, for loneliness is an acute problem that young and old face every day. In the Peanuts cartoon, where Linus is afraid to go to the library, Charlie Brown tries to explain that everyone is lonely in some place or another. Linus, in turn, asks Charlie where that place is for him. Charlie ponders that one, then replies: “Earth.” You can learn to handle loneliness. Here are a few suggestions that will help you heal the hurt of loneliness.
First, Cultivate Good Friendships. Some people will do anything to escape loneliness. One man went to a psychiatrist and asked for a split personality. At least that way he would have someone to live with! David and Jonathan developed a close bond of friendship between themselves (1 Samuel 18:1-4).
Second, Invest Your Life in Serving Others. You can help yourself by helping others. In the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus teaches us to serve those in need.
Third, Fill Your Mind With Good Literature. Paul’s request to Timothy was, “Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come–and the books, especially the parchments.” (2 Timothy 4:13)
Fourth, Read the Bible Every Day. Billy Graham said, “I am never lonely when I am reading the Bible. I read it every day–whole chapters of it. Nothing dissolves loneliness like a session with God’s Word.”
Fifth, Develop a Daily Prayer Life. Quoting Billy Graham again, “I am never lonely when I am praying, for this brings us into companionship with the greatest friend of all–Jesus Christ. Jesus said, ‘I call you not servants, but friends.’”
Sixth, Remember That God the Holy Spirit Is An Ever-present Companion. “Jesus said, ‘I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.’” (John 14:16)
Loneliness has its way of winning victory. No one is ever completely immune to its touch. If we exercise the right disciplines, however, we can gain an upper hand on the problem.
A LITTLE HUMOR: In the play, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” Charlie Brown explains why he hates lunchtime.
“I think lunchtime is about the worst time of the day for me. Always having to sit there alone. Of course, sometimes mornings aren’t so pleasant, either–waking up and wondering if anyone would really miss me if I never got out of bed. Then there’s the night, too–lying there and thinking about all the stupid things I’ve done during the day. And all those hours in between–when I do all those stupid things.
Well, lunchtime is among the worst times of the day for me. Well, I guess I’d better see what I’ve got.” (He opens the bag, and chews.) “Some psychiatrists say that people who eat peanut butter sandwiches are lonely. I guess they’re right. And if they’re really lonely, the peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth.”