Alarm system – emotional pain of loneliness

By Dave Henning / December 1, 2021

“Loneliness is about far more than ‘feeling sad’ over a lack of connection.  God created us to be in intimate connection with Him and others, so loneliness is an attack on our bodies that threatens our very survival. . . .  This emotional pain of loneliness is a God-given alarm system that something needs to change — and fast!”- Ruth Graham

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”- Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)

Ruth Graham concludes Chapter 5 of Transforming Loneliness as she stresses the urgency of dealing with the issue of loneliness.  Hence, it’s imperative, a must-do!  Rather than a feel-good idea so that we don’t feel sad.  Because we need to thrive as God intended us to, deeply connected to Him as well as to others.  For God designed our whole being for connection to others.  Therefore, when loneliness attacks, it attacks us at every level.

However, Ruth exhorts, do not despair!  Despair ‘gifts’ us with no favors.  Instead, despair only serves to drive a greater wedge between us and our loving God, who cherishes us.

After the Israelites crossed through the Red Sea on dry land, they came to a place called Marah.  When they saw water, they were thrilled.  But, the children of Israel found the water bitter and undrinkable.  So, once again the people turned on Moses.  And when Moses cried out to God, He showed Moses a tree.  Next, Moses threw the tree into the waters.  As a result, the waters became sweet.  Consequently, Ruth exhorts, when we cry out in our loneliness for help, God shows us a tree as well – the cross.

In conclusion, Ruth counsels us not to despair over the very dangerous consequences of loneliness.  Rather, we shift our focus to the words of 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 and 16, which reads:

“We are afflicted in very way but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. . . .  Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.”

Today’s question: How does your God-given alarm system alert you that something must change quickly?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Endure loneliness without bitterness”

About the author

Dave Henning

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