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I Feel Lonely Today

Friday, July 23rd, 2010



dad_daughter_by_riverSometimes we just need to know someone is there.


Thank you for reaching out to me today.


I felt all alone.





The Lord said this to Moses right before he was going to take him away from this earth, and before he would leave the people he had led for so long:


Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Duet. 31:6


Then as Moses charged Joshua to carry on with the plan he said:


The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Duet. 31:8


God-I'm-LonelyLoneliness is one of the most common experiences we can share with each other. Moses had felt alone a lot as he tried to lead a disgruntled and frustrated crowd for so many years. Then as Moses knew what Joshua would be facing in taking over, he made sure Joshua heard what was needed for his upcoming task. He needed to know he wasn’t alone.  I think one of the most significant things we can struggle with is the thought that we are alone in the battle ground of this life. God knew we needed to know that He was with us no matter what.


There are those times when we feel alone, separated from others. I can feel lonely because I am struggling with something personal that I don’t think anyone else can relate to. I can also feel lonely when I am in the midst of a crowd but overwhelmed with a personal life issue. I miss the connection with them assuming they don’t understand what I am going through. The reality is that they may not know anything about it. At times, I just feel lonely, period.


I remember a time many years ago when I told some friends that I was having a “Christmas Open House”. I cleaned, decorated, prepared food, set the grand buffet with all kinds of goodies. 6:00 came, 7:00 came, but no one came to the door. Then at 11:00 I started to put the food away, none of it eaten other than from my own snacking. As I was closing down my unattended party something hit me. I had survived my worst nightmare.  I went to bed with a weird kind of satisfaction. In some ways this lonely event brought me to a new level of victory. I hosted a party and no one showed up. I didn’t die, I didn’t lose my breath. But, I did feel disappointed, kind of lost and rejected. Might I add, I felt a little embarrassed. What did this misfortune say about me?


Just because I am talking with others on a regular basis doesn’t mean that I am connecting with them. I realized after the fact that my invitation was passive and not personally expressed to individuals. I truly believe if someone would have thought that I wanted to spend the evening with them at my party they would have come.


friendly+peopleThe smiling faces we see in most pictures aren’t always telling us the truth. We can’t assume that people feel loved by the way we see them interacting with others. We all know how to look good in public or to talk good on the phone. But often times the loneliest people are the ones who look the least alone.  Because we don’t believe they need anything from us we can actually leave them alone.


Loneliness can be a result of feeling rejected by someone that is important to us. We may have had a friend move out of town, or someone in our life has gone through a significant life change that alters the way we have been used to connecting subsequently we feel alone. A friend’s divorce, a job change, or leaving a church we had gone to with each other; can produce a sense of loss leaving us feeling lonely.


So, what’s the point? Reach out to someone today. Ask the Lord to put someone on your mind to call or stop by to see.  As I am writing this I am creating my own list.  With new mediums like FaceBook and text messaging, we have lots of opportunities to just say “Hello, I am thinking about you today.” But even better, pick up the phone and call someone. I remember the slogan, “Reach Out and Touch Someone” to advertize the telephone service. It was a great way to encourage us to tell someone else they are important to us and really make a difference in a simple easy way. Christians are born into a new family.  How can our family function in a healthy way?  Maybe a brother or sister could use a word from you today and you didn’t know it.


lonelygirl-balloonsGod sets the lonely in families. Ps. 68:6


We don’t have to assume someone is in trouble or is desperately alone in order to contact them. Maybe it will mean even more to someone that we called them “just because”. But there are those who really need to know they aren’t alone today. Your spontaneous “hello” may make a world of difference to them.


What about those people who have made a huge difference in your life? Do they know that you feel that way? Please tell them. Some people labor for years giving to others and wonder, “am I making a difference?”


A lady called me recently and asked to take my wife and I out to breakfast. She said she had something to talk with us about and wanted to update us on their family situation. I am used to people wanting to meet with me to discuss life issues that are troublesome to them. I am grateful for the opportunity to help others and love being able to do that so I was prepared to listen and somehow help her. When we got to breakfast she said, “John, I need to tell you how you have helped me several years ago. My life was changed from your influence.” She went on with explicit detail and of course I was surprised and encouraged to hear her words. I felt even more motivated that day to continue to make myself available for others. I was “stimulated to love and good deeds” from her taking the time to tell me how I had helped her.


lonely man readingAnd let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Heb 10:24-25


Think back to your own life growth. We have all experienced those times when someone helped us, spoke to us with encouragement, or stood by our side. Have you told them they helped you? Make a list today of those people and if at all possible take the time to let them know how you feel.


There is another friend of mine that sends me text messages with prayers, scripture, and thankfulness on a random basis. I just received one today,


“Love U John Smid! U r a blessing 2 me! 2 day I know U will bless someone!”


I never know when they will come but feel so encouraged when they do.  Can you take the time today to send an encouraging message to someone?


In some cases, reaching out to others may not bring forth what you hope for, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t helping. I know a man who said that a friend of his sent him cards for Christmas, birthdays, and just because – for years. He had been in a very challenging life situation but didn’t have the courage to do anything different but through the cards and letters of encouragement over time he felt ready to make some changes. He often speaks of the unconditional love he felt as a result of this friend reaching out to him consistently during the darkest time of his life. He often mentions that no matter what he was going through, he knew he had a friend that cared about him.


One day I returned to my office after lunch and found a cassette tape and a note from a man in my mens group at the time.  He had heard me talk about a type of music that I liked.  During his busy work day, he took the time out to bless me with a tape of that style and a note that said, “I love you brother”.  Fifteen years later I still remember the way I felt encouraged, the blessing that was to me during a very lonely time in my own life.  I knew someone cared. It only took a few extra minutes from his day but impacted me for a lifetime.


Maybe there is someone you know that you feel concerned about but don’t know how to help them. How about just telling them you love them and are thinking of them and doing this periodically, not just when it is their birthday or a holiday, but just because. You never know what may be going on in their life when they receive your caring words.


reach out - telephoneDon’t wait! Who is on your mind today? We all need to know we aren’t alone. Each one of us needs to hear the words “I love you” from those who really mean it.


This may be a lonely time for you. See if it helps to reach into someone else’s life when you need to feel connected.


I suspect it may.