Loneliness is a horrific feeling. Count yourself blessed if it is not a regular experience of yours. It is, in fact, the experience of many. If recent studies are correct, over 1 in 3 adults, and 6 of every 10 teenagers, self-report themselves as experiencing dangerous levels of loneliness.
Loneliness is serious. Unaddressed loneliness is deadly.
I have often used God's words in Genesis 2:18, "It is not good for man to be alone," as evidence that even with a relationship with God, we need people. God created us this way. But if that is true, then it is more true that even if you have plenty of people, you still need God. He created us this way, too.
Yes, you need people. But any people can potentially suffice. God is the one essential worker in addressing your loneliness. Psalm 68:6 says, "God puts the lonely in families." Think about that. God is involved. God is the force addressing loneliness. If God is not involved, if God is not the action-taker at the beginning of that sentence, then there might be plenty of people surrounded by people, even in actual families, and yet their loneliness remains. I have experienced it personally and witnessed it constantly: You can be surrounded by people and still feel desperately alone.
So we all need God to be involved. We need Him to be connected with us directly, and we need Him to be truly connected with people in the way we are designed to be.
Why do we need Him? Because there are afflictions, troubles, anguishes, distresses, and sins within you that keep you lonely. That is why you can be surrounded by people and still feel alone.
So today we talk about this most important connection you can make - the one Essential Worker needed - if you really struggle with loneliness. I'll leave you with this prayer from Psalm 25:16-18.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart have multiplied;
free me from my anguish.
Look upon my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
Pray it until it works. It will. He will. He puts the lonely in families.