Transforming Loneliness


Transforming Loneliness (BakerBooks, 2021)

Ruth Graham’s most recent book carries the title Transforming Loneliness: Deepening Our Relationship with God and Others When We Feel Alone.  Ruth, the author of ten books, also founded Ruth Graham Ministries.  First, Ms. Graham defines loneliness as “an ache, a deep longing to feel connected, validated, seen, known, and valued.”  Above all, to fight loneliness requires an intentional battle plan and strong weapons.  Furthermore, one finds the healthiest response to loneliness in the Word of God.  Because you need to do more than endure your loneliness.  Instead, you must learn to work with God in transforming loneliness, not work against Him.  For God sees, knows, and cares for us when we feel lost in that harsh wilderness.  So, learn to watch for God to show up and intervene.  Hold tight and keep your eyes open for His coming.

God’s plan for you far exceeds your most fervent hopes.  And, more than anything else, you need a human voice when you’re in a time of stress, worry, or under pressure.  Also, quiet and solitude provide a time for you to settle and grow quiet within yourself.  Hence, the author asks, in the midst of your loneliness, do you turn toward God or away from Him?  Look upward or inward?  The emotional pain of loneliness functions as a God-given alarm system that signals the need for change – and fast.  Since God designed your whole being to connect to others, loneliness attacks you on every level.  However, when you partner with God through your loneliness, it may serve as a pathway to His purpose for you.

Most significantly, it’s vital to keep eternity in view when you’re lonely.  Although you may not see the why of your temporary loneliness, you need to keep your eyes on Who works on transforming loneliness.  Solitude makes room in your soul as it shuts down the noise of life’s demands.  And God’s already waiting for you in your inner room.  He’ll meet you there.  Certainly, it’s easy to lose sight of your purpose when facing an overwhelming situation.  Yet, reaching out to God and others breaks the illusion of being alone.  Respond with anticipation.  Make your loneliness sacred.  Hence, dedicate it to God and invite Him to put it to His use.

Finally, the author stresses, when you love others, you represent God to them.  Jesus commands us to love others, not just because it’s good for the other person, but because it’s good for us.  There’s no more powerful way to fill your loneliness than reaching out in love to someone longing for it – whether you think they deserve it or not.  Ruth closes with this prayer:

“I pray that you have now begun your own journey of working with God to transform your loneliness into a deeper connection with Him and others, and I pray as well that you will see the glorious privilege we have of sharing the gospel with others who are lonely.  What better news is there?

About the author

Dave Henning

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