The Sacred Place Of Loneliness

Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Need Thee Every Hour"1 (Lyrics)

One morning, while I was at my computer, my 15-year-old son interrupted my thoughts with these words: "Mom, do you know what the biggest problem in society is? It is loneliness!"

He had no idea that, at that very moment, my fingers were poised over my keyboard ready to type this title: The Sacred Place of Loneliness.

That was in the 1990s. My son was eager to share an observation which experts would discover through extensive research. Loneliness is at the root of our crisis among youth.

I invite you to consider loneliness, not as a hopeless plight, but as an inner void meant to be filled by God, and God alone.

Consider it, therefore, as a sacred place. For here is where we discover God. Here, His Spirit intertwines with ours. Here, we learn to distinguish God's voice from all other input.

In times of deepest loneliness, God often prepares His loved ones for their destiny. Abraham stood alone when he ventured to the unknown. Joseph was left abandoned in prison. The disciple John was banished on Patmos, where he received his revelation. We, too, can discover the best things of God in the experience of loneliness.

As we learn to walk alone with God, we no longer rely on the attention and validation of others. We lose our craving for false satisfactions and trendy notions. We become free to think and to create.

Creative inspiration has often been birthed through agonizing loneliness and rejection: art, literature, music, poetry, theology, and much more. These visionary works possess a lasting quality. They can touch the depths of the human spirit because they did not arise merely from the superficialities of the day.

Let's not be quick to flee from the agony of loneliness, but rather, to learn to embrace it. In truth, we are not alone, for our heavenly Father is with us. Jesus said, "Yet I am not alone, because my Father is with me." (John 16:32 NIV) As we learn to be satisfied with God's presence, our pain-filled loneliness becomes transformed into peace-filled solitude.

    He who will fly as an eagle does, into the higher levels where cloudless day abides, and live in the sunshine of God, must be content to live a comparatively lonely life. No bird is so solitary as the eagle. … God seeks eagle-men. … We must dare to be alone. – Streams in the Desert, December 20, L. B. Cowman

Prayer: Dear Father of compassion, we are terrified of loneliness, of not mattering to anyone. Train us to enjoy Your presence in the depths of our being, that we may dare to be alone — and find new inspiration. Amen.

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About the author:

Diane Eaton <d.eaton@bmts.com>
Paisley, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Diane.


    So enjoyed this. God’s blessings always.


    A good word Diane, one to be held close to the heart.


    A very true and touching devotional. Thank you Dianne.


    Well said, thank you.
    (ON)


    Thanks, Diane.
    This is WONDERFUL advice.


    Thank-you so much!
    This has given me a new sense of peace about someone.


    Well said! You are changing my perspective in a new way. Thank you so much for these inspiring words.


    What a great way to consider loneliness, I’m sure it will inspire many in how to help those who feel lonely. God bless!


    For seniors, loneliness is not a blessing – isolated, alone, too much time to remember deceased family and friends can lead to depression.


    Diane, you wrote a beautiful and encouraging reminder of God’s 24/7/365 presence and of the possibility of a most intimate relationship that can satisfy our souls. Thank you.


    Good evening, Diane,
    Thank you for your devotional this morning. I can relate.
    Blessings.


    Lovely devotion. Excellent. It spoke encouragement to me.
    Now can you write one about the value of friends and where to look for them and how to keep them? We need both.


    I once wrote a paper based Henri Nouwen work of aloneness. The devotional Diane triggered that focus.
    Blessings.


    Good morning, Diane,
    I have just received the news of the death of a very dear brother. Your words about loneliness are what I need. Thank you so very much.


    Love this theme! The watchword of the denomination I attend is “We are not alone”.
    Bless you Diane, you’re always right on!
    (BC)


    Amen, Diane! I find that writing is a somewhat lonely place, though I love it. I, in my own thoughts my fingers glide over the keyboard as I strive to put just one more God inspired thought to paper. In those moments it is my God who keeps me company.


    Thanks for it, hits me. I am struggling for I am blind and it’s hard to build relationships when ones hold it against me.
    Especially now that I am alone after my wife passed away.
    (Ontario)


    Good morning, Diane, thank you.
    I could not agree with you more. God is so faithful and always with us.
    Some of my poems come out of loneliness, others gratitude for all He does.
    Have a blessed day.


    Thank you, Diane, for your words of devotion. Loneliness can be like an illness we have to bear. My husband passed on almost 9 years ago and still the loneliness is with me.
    Thank you for the prayer – it is so uplifting.
    (Ontario)


    Good morning, Diane!
    Thank you for your message today. Loneliness – so many people are struggling with loneliness these days. I do sometimes. The good news is that when we have a relationship with Christ Jesus, we can talk to him about our loneliness and he faithfully fills us with his Peace!


    Dear Diane,
    Thanks so much for your devotional this morning. How important it is to spend time with Him each day… like Mary, sitting at His feet.
    Some day soon we’ll be with Him for all eternity! What a day that will be…
    God bless you.


    Thanks, Diane, for your encouraging words today. Loneliness can certainly become a serious problem as we age and are less mobile, therefore we must be thankful for those who reach out and see that we receive visitations. Our faith must remain strong and know that our loving Lord is ever with us and provides us with companionship. Blessings for your writings.


    Hi Diane.
    How nice to see a devotional from you today! I hope you are feeling well enough to enjoy the sunshine and outdoors.
    My reaction to your devotional today was to ponder a thought. Would there be as much loneliness in today’s society if people would communicate as we used to in the ‘good old days’? That being person to person, instead of device to device.
    Keep up the good writing, and thanks for a thoughtful devotion.
    Stay strong!
    (ON)


    Thank you, Diane. This is excellent. I’m a widow who often spends hours by myself each day, so this spoke to me.

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