GOD > My Loneliness
Jesus said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Mark 15:34b
According to a recent Barna Group survey “Ten years ago, slightly over one out of 10 Americans self-identified as lonely. Today, that number has doubled–a paradoxical reality in the full swing of the social media age.” Lack of friendship is not for lack of desire. Barna reports, “The desire to find one’s place among a few good friends has likewise increased from 31% a decade ago to 37% today.”
In spite of having Facebook friends and Sunday morning coffee in the church fellowship center, it’s entirely possible to still be lonely. Have you ever gathered around the family table, been on break with co-workers, or sat in a roomful of beautiful Bible study women and felt isolated, rejected, misunderstood, or alone? If so, you’re not alone.
Jesus knew loneliness. Although He had a crowd of followers who marveled at His miracles, they misunderstood His mission and plotted His death. Even His very closest friends didn’t get what He was saying or doing most of the time. At His crucifixion, Judas betrayed Him, the disciples deserted Him, and Christ cried from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34b)
Think about it. The cross caused Jesus more relational pain than physical pain. The Father turned His face away from His Son. Luther writes, “God forsaking God. What man can understand this?” The Father’s love was ripped away from Christ so the curtain could be ripped open granting us access to the Father! Through Jesus we have friendship with the Father. Through Jesus we experience the precious promise from God, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
Do you long for a friend that loves at all times? Do you desire a friend who sticks closer than a brother? (Proverbs 17:17, 18:24) That friend is Jesus. He is the greatest Friend!
God wired us for relationship with Himself and with others. For flesh and blood friendships, start with prayer, knowing God sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6) and designed us for community. And then love people like Jesus loves you. He didn’t enter friendships looking for what others could do for Him. Instead He made Himself less by laying down His life. He said and lived, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).
HE>i: What should “becoming less” look like in our friendships? (John 3:30)
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