Just where can we begin to find out if any good can come from loneliness? I assert that the place to start is by examining the most lonely experience this earth has ever known, which is not only the place that loneliness can be ended once and for all but is the ultimate proof that good can come from it.
At the moment Jesus died on the Cross, He was the loneliest person there will ever be on this earth. He was rejected by all- including His closest followers who promised to never forsake Him while His enemies despised, mocked, and scorned Him, taking pleasure in His death. But beyond all of this, and worst of all, God the Father forsook Him. All had abandoned Him in one way or another and He was left to die alone, rejected by all. Even with people watching Him die, He was still entirely alone, bringing a new meaning to the word “loneliness.” For the One He had counted on to sustain Him and guide Him through His earthly journey turned His back on Jesus because He couldn’t look on sin. All of the sins this world has ever known and ever would know were placed upon the innocent Son of God.
How does the death of Christ on the Cross end loneliness once and for all? What good comes from this loneliest of all deaths and thusly, loneliness itself?
- A potential change of perspective: I’ve often wondered why so many people are afraid to be alone. Some people can’t stand quietness or to be without some kind of external stimulation, whether from music, television, websites, or other people. Maybe loneliness should remind us that we are not enough. It may be some of the best evidence that we are not self-sufficient, we are not all we need.
- A chance to choose: Though loneliness can be hurtful and frustrating, it is a chance to either choose to be insecure as we find ourselves alone without wanting to be and desperately try to find someone to pay attention to or spend time with us. Or it can serve as a reminder to humble ourselves and confess that we need more than we can provide ourselves.
- An opportunity for reflection: Loneliness and being alone are not necessarily one and the same. Loneliness is a state of being alone against our will. Being alone can be an opportunity that isn’t necessarily painful but an opportunity to reflect on the state of our lives and hearts, prioritize what is importance to us, and pursue the deeper things of life.
- Peace with God: Christ’s death on the Cross opened the door to eternal peace with God. One of His Names is Immanuel, which means “God with us.” (Isaiah 7:14) Jesus Himself promised that He would always be with those who believe in Him. (Matthew 28:20)
- The Light of Christ: If loneliness inflicts its worst in the dark, realize that Jesus is the Light of the World. (John 8:12) If we but turn from our sins, repent, and welcome Him as Lord and Friend, His light will shine on the dark corners of the soul, His Spirit will fill up all the empty places, and eradicate the fear of being alone. Psalm 16:11 says that there is fullness of joy in God’s presence. I have never heard of anyone being full of joy and lonely at the same time.
- The Greatest Proof: The Cross of Christ is the greatest proof of God’s love. By delivering up Jesus to the Cross for humanity, God proved forever that nothing- not even our sin and paying the debt we could never repay, can separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:32, 39) No matter what happens to me in life, no matter my doubts, disappointments, or anything else, one thing that will always compel me to believe that God loves me is the sacrifice Jesus paid on the Cross.
- The God of All Comfort: Isn’t one thing we want when lonely is for someone to comfort us, to let us know we are cared for and loved? Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 that God is the God of all comfort. Also, Jesus told us that He would send the Holy Spirit, who He described as the Comforter, Who will abide with us forever. (John 14:16, 16:7)
Loneliness doesn’t have to be the overrated monster whose shadow swallows us whole. As always, we have a choice in how we respond. We can become fearful, angry, bitter, resentful, etc. because people can’t or won’t make time for us. Or we can look to the One Who paid the price for the redemption of our loneliness (and us.) As I told the Lord once, “You are the One my fears are afraid of”- even the fear of loneliness.