Loneliness is a sign that something is off, because we were made for community.

From the very beginning of Scripture, the assessment "it is not good to be alone" is presented. This “not good” experience of loneliness is more common than you think.  

I’m Larry Szyman, one of the pastors of Faith Community and as you can imagine, loneliness is on the rise during this COVID season as roughly one-third of American adults report feeling lonelier than usual.  

I’m grateful that we possess technology such as FaceTime and Zoom. But even in our tech-saturated world, the absence of face-to-face interaction and touch is no small matter.

Loneliness is not merely a relational issue, it is a state of being; it affects our bodies.

Inc magazine reports that loneliness can be as damaging to one’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and the lonely are 50% more likely to die prematurely than those with healthy social relationships.

So where is there hope for the lonely?

It is good news that things are loosening up and more interaction is happening. Yet if you possess risk factors, wisdom and social distancing are called for. I have two suggestions today if you are feeling particularly lonely.  

The first suggestion is to turn in the direction of Jesus.

Hear me out. I’m not talking about learning about Jesus, but a relationship with Him. Jesus was so much more than a great teacher or model or a rule giver--and He knows what it is to be alone--He’s been there.

It is well documented that in His most crucial time on earth, He was betrayed, denied and abandoned by those closest to Him as he unjustly faced trial and execution. Jesus knows loneliness.

Ultimately an unhindered relationship between Him and God the Father is what allowed Jesus to continue in the stresses of life with hope, and joy. But there even came a point during His execution on a cross, where Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus knew the soul-crushing reality of loneliness.

Amazingly, Jesus’ loneliness and death on a cross was part of a glorious strategy planned by the Father and the Son, so that we could meet, know and follow Jesus. He became lonely so that He could keep this promise to His followers: "I will never leave you or forsake you."

Not rules. Not religion. An authentic relationship with Jesus will help in battling the hole in our soul called loneliness.

You may think that is all well and good but the loneliness you feel is the flesh and blood variety. God’s plan for our well-being includes Jesus AND those who follow Him, also known as the body of Christ, the church. God became flesh and blood in Jesus and His followers are the present-day flesh and blood through whom God’s relational work continues. If you don’t have a home church, we would welcome hearing from you, because you matter to God and you matter to us. We can get you connected with others to walk alongside you and you them.

Jesus offers Himself and His people to help you in your battle with loneliness until that day when every longing is met. Until then, we have Jesus. We have one another. Let’s battle loneliness together.

I hope you find these thoughts helpful as you consider how to live in the midst of a COVID community. If so, could you share this link with someone you care about, perhaps someone you know who is lonely? Thanks. We look forward to seeing you again next week for Faith and Life.


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