America has been called the land of strangers. The Gallup Poll reported that four in ten Americans admit to frequent feelings of "intense loneliness." By 2010, more than one in four households will be single-person homes. Jennifer Elise Cox, (who played Jan Brady in the Brady Bunch), reveals the heart of many Generation Xers who've seen their share of dysfunctional families and are looking for true connection: "I think people crave to have a family; you aspire to have one, you crave one in any way you can."
Family is the message of the creation story. The declaration is made: "it is not good for man to be alone." (Gen.2:18) Relationship is part of God's intention in creation, from the human standpoint as well as God's standpoint. Very early in the Bible the judgement is made that "man shall not live by bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." (Dt. 8:3) So while one may be alone in relation to others, one can always have a sense of fellowship and community with God.
Being alone can be depressing and despairing. Job complained, "I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning." (Job 7:16) But the Psalms give a more positive view: "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken."(Ps.62:1-2)
The words of Jesus apply particularly to Himself, but because of Him we can also see an analogy of meaning for us. He said: "But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me." When we have been deserted by people, for whatever reason, we are not alone, for our Lord is with us. The Bible expresses this same truth in another context: "For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." (Rom 14"6-7)
There may be some of you who feel utter loneliness without anyone in the world who cares for you. A woman from China wrote to Transworld Radio about her experience of loneliness. The letter gives a message for all who are lonely.
"I had a very miserable upbringing. I was born as a blind orphan. I used to live with my grandmother, but she passed away when I was 5. Just before she died she entrusted me to my adopted parents. When I was 6, my adopted father taught me to sing. With this skill, I began to earn a living. By 15, both of my adopted parents had died. I survived by singing on the street. By 18, I was so lonely. I had no relatives or friends. I thought for me, a blind person, the only hope for life was to get married. Unfortunately, it turned out that my husband did not care for the family and he always hit me. When I had my first child, I did not have any money with me. I had to starve with my child. He almost died, but thanks to God's mercy, He saved my child's life. At that time, I did not know God, nor did anyone preach the Gospel to me. Hence, I did not know how to ask help from God. Finally, I could not stand my husband anymore, and I left him in 1993. I thanked God for Gospel broadcasts. Through them, I came to know God. This was the happiest moment of my life. One night, I heard a brother from the broadcast say that our Heavenly Father loved his children. Since I was an orphan, I had never felt this love. Then, all of a sudden, I felt I was embraced by our Heavenly Father. I had never been loved, nor did I receive care from my father. But at that moment, I experienced this joy. Ever since I started to listen to Gospel broadcast, I have had joy and peace."
For further information on how to come to a relationship with God, check out How to Get To Heaven From Wherever You are... on this web site.
The Psalmist said, "I am a friend to all those who love the Lord." When we come into relationship with our Heavenly Father we find ourself in fellowship with all those who have become a part of the family of God through Christ. Finding a church that is true to the Gospel will open the door to finding close and caring friends.
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