Imagine that your friend invited you to an afternoon gathering at your friend’s house. You were made aware that you will know no one else but that one friend at this gathering. Despite that, you attend the event. When you arrive, you spot your friend mingling with other guests. Your friend then turns to you and promises to spend time with you in five minutes. Five minutes turn into ten. Ten minutes turn into an hour. After a couple of hours, the event ends.
Pursuing human connection is a risk— but one worth taking.
Whether you are an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between, you will most likely feel some level of loneliness if placed in this scenario. Throughout the afternoon, you probably sat at a table alone, made some small talk with strangers, or left early due to the lack of interaction with others at an event where mingling and connecting is, innately, the main “attraction.” You may begin to question whether your friend cares about you or why the friend bothered to invite you. You likely would feel the sting of rejection and/or abandonment.
This scenario shows only one of the many ways a person may experience loneliness and the variety of emotions that go along with it. Other examples of when someone may experience loneliness include after a divorce or the loss of a loved one, during long periods of singleness, and after moving to a new location. But, there is good news! Regardless of the reason you may be experiencing loneliness, God promises He will help us through it. In Psalm 72:12, He promises to “deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help” (NIV). The truth is, we are never alone; Christ is always with us (Matt. 28:20) just as God the Father was always with His Son (John 16:32).
Along with the companionship we have with our Savior, God also values when we allow ourselves to connect with other human beings. He created us with a desire for human companionship (Gen. 2:20). Sometimes the loneliness we feel is due to the act of cutting ourselves off from the rest of the world. We may not want to interact with others because we have been hurt by those we attempted to connect with in the past. Pursuing human connection is a risk—but one worth taking. In this week’s lesson, we will delve deeper into the topics of companionship and loneliness.