The Silent Killer
Loneliness. It’s the silent killer.
Loneliness is what we feel when we are isolated from others. It often has less to do with others' physical absence and more with feeling disconnected or alienated from them; it is far more than being alone. It’s the sense that no one cares, that we are in it alone. In our lives, we will face various moments of loneliness, which may arise as a cause of losing someone, a broken friendship, a job, or even moving to a new place where we don't know anyone. All these circumstances can lead to feelings of isolation, bringing sadness to our spirit. These feelings are far more painful than just physical absences because we feel the isolation of being rejected.
It is in these lonely moments where we are at our most vulnerable, and it is these moments where Satan will attempt to strip us away from a relationship with God. Like a mountain lion who selects its prey, Satan is waiting to pounce on the lonely and weak (1 Pet 5:8). He's the silent killer. He takes advantage of our loneliness when we are isolated from God and tempts us into sin. When we are alone and don't know whom to turn to, Satan attacks us and tricks us into turning back to the world to seek comfort from relationships, friendships and otherworldly things. Satan aims to make us blame God for our loneliness and to despise Him. Such lies will never lead us to comfort and peace.
Health professionals will often try to assist us by recommending us to get out and do something. "Do something you love", "Go for a walk and get some fresh air to clear your minds". “Maybe even find a church, reach out to a friend, visit your pastor, or seek help from a counsellor”.
But in our sorrows, loneliness and affliction, if you rely on and seek comfort and refuge from others, relationships and materialism, you will always be left empty-handed. All the "pleasure" and "comfort" we believe we are feeling are temporary. Because all things in this world are temporary, friendships will pass, relationships will end, and one day everything will perish. It is a never-ending treasure hunt with no treasure to be found.
So what do we do, and who do we turn to?
The Most Lonely Moment in History
When people describe Jesus, they often mention how he was loved by His people, galvanizing in the eyes of man as King of all Kings, the sacrificial lamb, the ultimate sacrifice, a figure with such power and authority. But have you ever thought of Jesus as a lonely man? In fact, Jesus may have been the loneliest human in history.
The book of Isaiah demonstrates this clearly when he prophetically described Jesus, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3). Meaning that throughout the entirety of Jesus' life, he had to endure constant hate and loneliness. Revealing to us that Jesus is the only person that is able to sympathize with our loneliness far more than we might have previously thought.
But that was all a precursor. There was one momentous moment of loneliness, so dark and deep that only Jesus has ever experienced it. It occurred on the cross the moment he became sin for us,
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
In that unfathomably horrible, incomprehensibly lonely moment, Jesus felt forsaken by his Father and all those that he loved. In this supreme moment, Jesus was broken physically and spiritually, and was thus described by Isaiah as “beyond human semblance” (Isaiah 52:14). Having spent his earthly life estranged by his sinlessness, Jesus was now estranged by the sin he willingly bore for us.
No one has experienced or understands the depths of loneliness like Jesus.
Seeking Solace in the Lord
The thing is, we were not made to be by ourselves. God made us for relationships. The one relationship that will never fail us is our relationship with God. He is the one we should seek in our loneliness. In the Old Testament book of Psalms, we find some of the greatest words of hope when we go through times of loneliness.
Psalm 34:18 tells us that “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
In Psalm 25:16-17, the writer gives us a prayer to God in a time of loneliness: “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” Psalm 25:16
As we read the Scriptures, we find the greatest truth of all, that is, God is with us always, even in our loneliness. We are never truly alone, because God is with us, in our hearts and in our minds, speaking to us through Scripture and prayer.
In Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus also mentions, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
The Scriptures specifically reminds us that in our sorrows and loneliness, the only answer we seek is only found in Jesus, the only person who could possibly understand our loneliness. We are reminded to seek Him and turn to Him. Thus we must “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33), and then, we will finally find peace and comfort. A treasure only found in Christ.