“Well they’re sharing a drink they call loneliness, but it’s better than drinking alone.”
— Billy Joel, The Piano Man
Before COVID-19 hit, 46% of Americans felt lonely at times. That number skyrocketed to 76% in December of 2020.
National and international health experts now describe loneliness as a public health crisis because of its negative impact on our mental & physical health.
We’re even hearing public service announcements trying to coach us through being lonely in 30 seconds or less.
In fact, The need for belonging is the most fundamental human need beyond food and shelter.
How We All Handle Loneliness Differently
We all have different ways to combat this struggle…
- We give in… and it ends in anxiety, depression, emptiness…
- We double down on ourselves. I don’t need anyone, I’ve got this, I’ll power through.
- We get needy. We seek other people to meet our loneliness needs.
- We construct a tribe of mentors… friends, family, etc that have gone before us that we tell ourselves is with us.
- All of these things make us less attractive to others to actually be around.
King David writes many great solutions for loneliness in the Psalms. Here are three:
Three Solutions for Loneliness
1 • Build a friendship with God.
Seriously. You’ll never be alone. Talk to him like he’s there and soon you’ll realize he is.
“In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.” — Psalm 25:1-2
2 • Assume the best with your new found friend.
All of us know the best way to lose a friend is to stop trusting them. So assume God has your best interest in mind instead of assuming he’s out to get you.
No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause. 25:3
3 • Practice daily humility.
SImply getting out of bed and getting on your knees saying “God, I’m yours” will go a long ways.”
Here are three prayers to pray:
• “God, You’re in charge.”
• “Thanks for being with me.”
• “How can I help someone today not feel so alone?”
David practiced this… and here’s what he discovered.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”
— Ps 68: 5-6
Check out this song that the RLC worship team wrote around this passage. Let it help you not be so lonely today.