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Tuesday
Jun182019

3 Suggestions for the Next Time You Feel Lonely

Becky Harling shares transformational messages, encouraging her audience to think biblically—and she does so with both depth and humor. In this Biblical Thinking UPGRADE, she offers three things to try if you're feeling lonely.

"What if your loneliness wasn’t something to dread but a vehicle for God to use?" Becky said. "What if instead of running from loneliness or hiding from it, you embraced it and ran to God?"

I (Dawn) seldom feel lonely, but when I have, it was tough. I think Becky's suggestions here are realistic and helpful.

Becky continues . . .

In our lives, we bristle against loneliness. We avoid it at all costs.

Yet many of us are experiencing soul weariness because we run from loneliness.

I remember a few years ago, during a heavy season of travel and ministry, I collapsed on my hotel bed and had a rather bizarre thought: “I’m lonely”.

After thinking about that, I almost giggled out loud reflecting, “How on earth can I feel lonely when I’ve been with people non-stop?” That’s when it hit me!

“I’m lonely for God!”

I had been pushing hard, and I needed time to sink into God’s presence and simply be at home with Him. He is my heart’s true home, and I needed the soul refreshment that comes only from enjoying His presence.

The Psalmists who wrote Psalm 84 understood. They penned,“My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” (Psalm 84:2).

In our fast-paced, over-caffeinated, non-stop culture, we need refreshment and renewal.

In order for that to happen, we must embrace our loneliness and recognize it as a divine signal inviting us to our heart’s true home—God. There in His presence we can relax, re-group, rest and simply be loved.

All of this may sound ethereal to you.

How do you experience God’s presence when there’s so much pressure from our society to perform and accomplish? It’s not as difficult as you think.

Here are 3 simple suggestions to get you started.

1. Read a Psalm.

The Psalms are a great place to find connection. These poetic masterpieces help you connect with God.

In addition, the authentic words and feelings of the various Psalmists will help you feel connected to their emotions.

As you hear them crying out—

you’ll find yourself whispering, “Me too!”

The Psalms offer empathy to the feelings we experience in our journey with God and help us connect with Him at a deeper level.

2. Recognize the Ache in Your Soul Is Your Call Back to God.

The ache you feel deep in the innermost parts of your soul has been placed there by God Himself. It is a hunger that only He Himself can fill. Nothing else will completely satisfy.

In our culture, we don’t like to feel pain, so we run from pain, hide from pain or numb our pain. The truth is, pain can be a fabulous signal alerting us that something is wrong.

When you feel the pangs of loneliness, rather than turning on Netflix or vegging out in front of an Amazon movie, consider whether you’ve had adequate time soaking in God’s presence.

Set aside some extra time to relax unhurried in His presence. In your time, read a few verses, listen to some worship music, journal your prayers, and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a deeper awareness of God’s presence.

3. Re-connect with Heart Friends.

Not only were our souls created with a hunger for God, they were also created with a thirst for friends.

In Psalm 95, the Psalmist invites others to join him in worship, writing, “Come let us sing for joy to the Lord” (Psalm 95:1).

When my soul is bone weary, I know I need extra time alone in God’s presence; but then I also need my heart-connection friends.

  • With these friends we can have a conversation about what God’s teaching us and how we’ve experienced Him in the mundane of everyday life.
  • We can share prayer requests and encourage each other in the journey.
  • With these heart friends, I experience the presence of God in our fellowship, and I walk away refreshed and uplifted. 

Friend, the next time you feel lonely, read a Psalm out loud, recognize your soul is aching for God, and re-connect with heart friends who understand your spiritual journey.

Don’t run from loneliness or hide from it. Instead, embrace it and then celebrate that loneliness can lead you back to your heart’s true home—God.

Think about the last time you felt lonely. How could these three suggestions have helped you get back on track?

Becky Harling is authentic. Passionate. Funny. She brings a life-transformational message to every audience. Becky has a Biblical Literature degree and is a Certified Speaker, Leadership Coach and Trainer with the John Maxwell Team. She is represented by Outreach Speakers. Her experience as a pastor’s wife, women’s ministry director, breast cancer and childhood sexual abuse survival all bring depth and realism to her message. Becky wrote eight books. Her latest, Who Do You Say that I Am?—an 8-week Bible study/video series—looks at the “I Am” statements of Jesus. Listen Well, Lead Better, written with her husband Steve, releases in February 2020. 

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Engin Akyurt at Pixabay.

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