Loneliness Has Purpose
by Sharon Betters
It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.
Genesis 2:18 ESV
Aloneness created a need in Adam for another person. So God created Eve. Note that Adam’s loneliness was not an “oops moment” for God. Creating Eve was not an afterthought. God planned the creation of community from the beginning. Loneliness sounds negative, but loneliness showcases our need for one another. Crisis magnifies this need and demonstrates one reason why God calls us to community.
Whenever I speak at a women’s event, there is always at least one woman who shares a desperate situation with me. Exhausted eyes fill with tears as she describes the hard place in her life and asks me for counsel. Several of my first questions are, “What is the name of your church? Who is in your small group? Have you talked to your Bible study leader?” My heart sinks if she tells me she does not attend church or a small group, or if she does, her attendance is erratic. My counsel won’t help as much without an established group of people ready and eager to come alongside of her in her pain. Such community is a gift of God to His people. The command of community throughout Scripture is for our good.
The time to cultivate these kinds of friendships is in the mundane moments of life, before crisis hits. Community makes our lives richer as we live life together, encouraging one another, holding each other accountable, meeting physical needs, carrying one another’s burdens. When such community is our norm, calling these friends is our auto response to crisis:
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:17 ESV
Who do you call when life turns upside down? Who calls you when a crisis hits? Does loneliness cover you like a dark cloud? Ask the Lord to lead you to a group or just one person who is ready to welcome you as a friend. Let us remind one another of the treasure of community for every day life and for those times when life crashes in.
Father, thank you for the gift of community. Use our loneliness to drive us outside of ourselves. Open our eyes to opportunities to connect with others, not just as a salve for our own loneliness, but as a means to meet the need of someone else.