Saturday, March 5, 2011

365 Days of Blessings, Day 279, Loneliness as a Blessing?

Saturday 279

This post is a different kind of blessings post. It’s a post about loneliness, the kind of loneliness only found in a crowd of people you love, or arm in arm with your spouse. It’s not a loneliness that makes sense as true loneliness, but a loneliness born out of feeling different, socially clueless, and separate. It’s that kind of loneliness that can only be cured by confiding in a friend, having a good cry, and renewing a relationship with God through Bible study and prayer. And then stepping forward, and getting on with life.

An acquaintance of mine, on the verge of friendship, offered me her heart of loneliness, and I listened, but didn’t call her, didn’t follow up, and then, in the heart of my own lonely moment, I realized just exactly what she meant.

Loneliness isn’t about not being blessed. Sometimes it’s about being blessed abundantly, and not feeling worthy. Sometimes it’s about feeling just different, as if the uniqueness God has given us is a separating force keeping us from true communion with Him and others. It’s when, despite busy schedules and a tight knit family, we feel adrift, or lost in the babble. We hope there is someone out there like us.

So, where in the world are the blessings in this?
1. Loneliness gives us compassion, the kind that compels us to do something when someone confides his/her loneliness to us.
2. Loneliness draws us into a closer relationship with the Lord. He understands us completely. He knit us together in our mothers’ wombs, and knows the number of hairs on our heads, and the uniqueness of each of our souls.
3. Loneliness teaches us a little of the agony Christ must have felt on the cross when he cried out, “Oh God, oh God, why have you forsaken me?”
4. Loneliness gives us reason to be thankful for the Lord’s amazing grace and mind-blowing love which we receive only through the gift of his Son’s life, death and resurrection. The Lord loves us so much, He wanted to be reconciled with us, and did it in the only way that would truly open our hearts – through the gift of His one and only Son.
5. Loneliness makes us appreciate our loved ones with greater grace.
6. Loneliness gives us a reason to reach out to others.
7. Loneliness is the consequence and antidote for selfishness, and self-centered thinking.
8. Loneliness has been experienced by others, time and again. It’s ok to feel lonely now and then, and even have a good cry. A good cry meaning one that pours out and spills over into the arms of God, and then lets it all go.
9. Loneliness usually lasts only for a short time, and then we find ourselves hugged, loved, and understood by the Lord, by our family, and by our friends.
10. God doesn’t want us to feel lonely for long.

Scripture Blessings:

"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven -
A time to give birth, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to tear down, and a time to build up.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search, and atime to give up as lost;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time for war, and a time for peace."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani,' that is 'My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?'" Matthew 27:46

"Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a certain servant-girl came to him and said, 'You too were with the Galilean.'
But he denied it before them all, saying, 'I do not know what you are talking about.'
And when he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and said to those who were there,'This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.'
And again he denied it with an oath, 'I do not know the man.'
And a little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, 'Surely you too are one of them; for the way you talk gives you away.'
Then he began to curse and swear, 'I do not know the man!' And immediately a cock crowed.
And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, 'Before the cock crows, you will deny Me three times.' And he went out and wept bitterly."
Matthew 26:69-75

"So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?' He said to Him, 'Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.' He said to him, 'Tend My lambs.'
He said to him again a second time, 'Simon, son of John, do you love Me?' He said to him, 'Yes Lord; You know that I love you.' He said to him, 'Shepherd My Sheep.'
He said to him a third time, 'Simon, son of John, do you love Me?' Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, 'Do you love me?' And he said to HIm, 'Lord, you know all things; You know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Tend my sheep.'"
John 21:15-17


Karen Lange said...

This is really good - I like how you took something challenging and highlighted the usefulness of it. Sort of like taking a lemon and making lemonade. Very encouraging!

Carol Riggs said...

Loneliness gives us compassion--I really like that one! We can understand others' loneliness cuz we've been there. :)