Summary: Loneliness is a huge problem facing mankind, bringing many to a point of committing suicide. If only they could realize that Jesus is there and they are not alone.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

By Pastor Jim May

We live in a world where people can feel so alone, even in the middle of a crowd. Have you ever felt that way? Loneliness is one of the major causes of suicide because people just give up, thinking that no one cares, no one knows they exist and that a life that is filled with loneliness just isn’t worth living.

A "Ziggy" cartoon recently pictured the small, pudgy man, sitting alone in a boat, drifting toward a tunnel with a sign above the entrance that said, "Tunnel of Meaningful Relationships." The only meaningful relationship he was going to find in that tunnel was his relationship with the boat because no one was there to get in the boat with him.

A study by the American Council of Life Insurance reported that the loneliest group in America is college students. That’s surprising since everything we see that shows us college life is filled with partying and crowds of kid drinking and having a good time. But college kids aren’t the only ones who are lonely. The list that was compiled of lonely people also included divorced people, welfare recipients, single mothers, rural students, housewives, and the elderly. Loneliness knows no social boundaries.

To point out how lonely people can be, Chuck Swindoll, in one of his books, mentioned an ad in a Kansas newspaper. It read, "I will listen to you talk for 30 minutes without comment for $5.00." Swindoll said, "Sounds like a hoax, doesn’t it? But the person was serious. Did anybody call? You bet. It wasn’t long before the person who put the ad in the paper was receiving 10 to 20 calls a day. The pain of loneliness was so sharp that some were willing to try anything, including buying the ear of a stranger, for just a half hour of companionship"

Kurt Cobain was the lead singer of a grunge band called, “Nirvana”. He tragically took his own life in an act of suicide. Despite his widespread fame, great wealth and adulation as a rock star he grew terribly lonely and depressed. In the days leading up to his suicide one of his diary entries read: "Somebody, anybody, God help, help me please. I want to be accepted...I’m so tired of crying and dreaming, I’m so, so, alone."

In December 2000 a German woman living in the city of Marburg, died while at home in her flat. Ten months later her landlord forced open the door to the flat, concerned that she had paid no rent for as long time. It was only then that her body was discovered. It seems the woman had lost contact with her relatives and had no friends, and not even one concerned neighbor.

But this is not an isolated instance. Germany regularly has cases where a body is not discovered until weeks, months or even years after the person has died. In one case, a Hamburg man sat dead on his sofa in front of his television for five years before he was found.

Loneliness stalks the earth like a giant, deadly specter! People are taking their lives everyday because they just can’t stand the thought that they are all alone. In a world of nearly 6.5 billion people, there is not one who seems to care for them. They simply fell through the cracks of life and disappear in obscurity.

Sadly it’s not just the unsaved that will fall prey to loneliness, all of us are susceptible. Those who are born again are just as likely to become lonely as those in the world.

King David knew what it was to be lonely too. There were several low points in his life when David began to feel alone against the world.

Before he became king, David was being pursued by King Saul who was making every effort to kill David to prevent him from being the new king in Israel. In some of those times, when David was on the run for his life, loneliness would seem to overwhelm him. Though there many around him, he felt alone in his fight. It was at those times that some of the Psalms were written crying out to God for protection, for deliverance and for God to comfort him in those dark hours.

Another time when David felt alone was when his own son, Absalom was chasing him to kill him and take his throne by force. How much more lonely can we be than at those times when it seems that the ones we love the most have forsaken us or turned against us?

Even though David faced loneliness like everyone else does, he also found a way out of that loneliness. He didn’t commit suicide. Instead, he turned his face toward Heaven and learned to pray and trust God. David understood and depended upon the words that he would write in Psalms 37:25, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."

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