Loneliness is a real struggle for every human being at some point in their lives. Single people feel it “because they aren’t in a relationship” and those in relationships feel it when they find themselves at odds with their partner. Parents feel it when they feel unappreciated and unsupported. Sad people feel it when they need someone to talk to and their friend doesn’t answer the phone. Happy people feel it when they have no one to share their joy with. Employees or students feel it when their coworkers or classmates refuse to carry their share of the work load. Travelers feel it when they long for home or experience a language barrier. Anyone who wants to better themselves or make a difference in this life feels alone because betterment is always a fight against the current.
But what if I told you, no matter the cause, there is an infallible and always available cure for your lonliness?
The solution to loneliness
True friendship with God
Sounds cliche? impossible? impractical? intangible? like something only unrealistic, uber religious people say?
Can it be true for you?
Why is a friendship with God the only true cure for loneliness?
We are searching for perfection, this is why human relationships let us down. God is the only one who can live up to our standards (Read post on Longing) because they are standards He created us to have.
How does God meet our standards?
- God is real – a friendship with Him is not a pretend cure, a placebo affect, or a mental game to trick ourselves into feeling ok again for a little while, it’s real. If you don’t believe it, ask Him to show you. If you ask in earnest like Thomas (John 20:27), He will gladly show you.
- God is human – He became so so that he could relate to us on a very personal level, so that he can always know on a very tangible level what you are going through. He knows what food tastes like. He knows what pain feels like. He has experienced poverty, fame, hatred, love, death, temptation, abandonment, and anger. No matter what you are going through, He can relate, because He genuinely knows what it feels like.
- God cares – He wants to be your friend. Don’t believe this? Read – Does God Really love me? and God Speaks your love language.
- God is always available – Because God is not confined by the laws of space and time, His spirit is everywhere and in all things. No matter where you are or what you are doing He is simply a thought or an outcry away.
- God is always on your side – Meaning He has your best interests at heart always. Even if His plan or the way He answers your prayers doesn’t seem to be in line with what you think, you can be certain it is for your own good and not a selfish interest (unlike many human disagreements).
- God will never let you down – He knows you. He can read your mind. He is perfect. He can see the future so He knows how things will turn out, thus, you never have to doubt His decisions.
7 steps to build a practical friendship with God
- Open yourself up to the idea of being friends with God. Often we can fight this if we have ever thought people who claimed friendship with God were crazy. Start looking at the possibility with curiosity rather than disdain.
- Cultivate silence – start tuning out some of the crazy in your life so that you can have a genuine conversation with Him.
- Learn to pray – Simply talk to God. Talk to him like a normal person who is interested in getting to know you. Go beyond “small talk”. Go deep. Be genuine. Share secrets. Let Him into the deepest places in your heart. Don’t try to hide from Him.
- Learn to listen – God speaks in stillness – not always the stillness of the surroundings but in the stillness of your heart. Read – Cultivating Meaningful Interior and Exterior Silence
- Apologize for things you may have done to hurt your relationship with Him. Honesty and Humility at this stage are the most crucial elements to being able to build a relationship.
- Make time for Him – as in any relationship, you must dedicate time and effort to make it grow and deepen. (This is usually something we come to enjoy more and more as we get to know the person. It will feel less and less like effort and more and more like necessity as your relationship grows)
- Feel Him with you – Loneliness is a feeling, therefore, in order to combat it, we need a feeling. Read – God speaks your love language
Already have a relationship with God and still struggling with loneliness? Maybe loneliness isn’t what you feel at all. Read, Dealing with Spiritual Dryness