Lord, my every desire is known to You; my sighing is not hidden from You.
Psalm 38:9 HCSB
The Lord knows when we’re lonely. He knows who is actually alone and who merely feels alone. The entire state of our hearts is known to God, so when I meet a lonely person, I know that God knows. I used to have such a hard time loving the lonely in a way that was godly, which is to say, free of pity and full of compassion. Now it’s easier, because God taught me how to love the lonely with His love, not mine.
How Not to Love the Lonely
One of the largest (and most repugnant) strongholds in my heart was self-pity. Since I was delivered of that, my world hasn’t been the same. Pity so clouded my perception of myself and everyone around me! It was awful, and I felt incredibly free when Jesus saved me from it.
Not long after that, Martha gave me a piece of wisdom that has forever changed how I love people. She said that the kindest thing I could do for someone whose life was difficult was to love them in that life, and help them to make peace with it. At the time, I didn’t really see just how wise that was. But the more I made peace with God about my life, the more I saw what a gift it is for someone to light the path to God instead of burning the bridge. And make no mistake, pity burns the bridge.
When I meet a lonely soul, I let the Lord’s love and compassion reach out to them. But I guard against pity. Pity says, “God is not good or He would alleviate your loneliness.” Pity implies that we are victims of a cruel God. And we most assuredly are NOT. Pity might be the worst thing we can put on other people, and a sure way to poison their hearts against our wonderful Father.
why i must let Jesus Love the Lonely
The Holy Spirit knows exactly what is needed to minister to every heart we encounter. Sometimes He gives me a gushy, extravagant love for a person. And sometimes it’s just a quiet word of encouragement. I trust that He gives me what He wants this person to have. To give less or more than Him is to overrule the Spirit with my own opinion. That’s never worked well for me. At all.
Before I was saved, the Lord isolated me pretty thoroughly. And I can say that it played a big part in my salvation. After I was saved, I was still in a fair amount of solitude. And sometimes I tried to change that because I was lonely. But God wouldn’t let me, and I am eternally grateful. It was in those early days that I learned to take my loneliness to God. My need drove me to seek Him in all reality, and my relationship with Him is now truly the one thing I cannot live without. Would that have happened without my suffering some loneliness? I don’t know, but I think not.
Jesus’ Great Heart to Love the Lonely
Loneliness is so heightened during Christmas, and it’s likely made worse by expectations of what Christmas will be to us. But I don’t want to venture where the Lord hasn’t sent me. I may delay or obstruct a heart in need of salvation, and that’s infinitely worse than being lonely. I want to love people in the life God’s given them, because I know what God does when we make peace with Him. He loves us with the love we’ve craved from the moment we first drew breath. And that love takes care of all that ails us, even loneliness. So I want Jesus, and only Jesus, to love the lonely through me.
Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
Psalm 62:8 AMPC
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”
Isaiah 43:1-3 NASB
This is so beautiful, Jennifer. I needed to read it again today. Thank you. His love and joy to you and yours always.
Couldn’t be a more timely post, Jennifer. Stephen’s only sibling, an older brother whom he was always very close to, told my sister in-law — one week before Christmas, that he wanted a divorce (after 43 years of marriage). It was such a shock to all of us, being a close family and I’ll leave it there. My sister in-law calls us crying (distance separates us), emails, asks us to pray for her, etc., frequently (not saved, though both have heard the Gospel and remarked, inquisitively, about Stephen’s transformation). So, thank you [and Martha] for this godly wisdom and your… Read more »
Thank you. It is always comforting to be reminded of our Savior and what He is. We can lean on Him.