I’ve never actually roasted chestnuts on an open fire, but Jack Frost has been nipping at my nose because it has been cold down here in Georgia, (we recently received just over a foot of snow!) Winter in Georgia isn’t that exciting but I absolutely love winter during the holidays, (until Christmas has passed then I do not like it anymore.) Christmas is such a joyful time of year, it’s when all the holiday cheer comes out, when red and green is everywhere and the magic of Christmas is all around. But as much as I love Christmas, I also low key hate Christmas. Maybe I am the only one but while there is so much cheer and celebration, for some reason there is also this deep sense of loneliness during big holidays, like Christmas.
There are several reasons people are lonely:
For some, it could be that you are single, for others it could be the memory of the loss of a loved one, others of you it may just be indescribable. One possibility is that while Christmas is such a special time of year, it can tend to remind you how not special the rest of the year was. It puts a temptation of worry that the rest of the year will be filled with financial struggles, stress induced by work or people. With that worry comes an indwelling fear of what the upcoming year will hold. Worst of it all, you fear that you will have to face it alone.
Even if you do not feel lonely right now, you either have and it may have left some leftover hurt or you will feel lonely in the future. Loneliness is a slow agonizing sorrow that wells up deep in your heart when you have convinced yourself that no one can relate to what is weighing you down. It is the feeling as if you are in a room full of darkness where nothing can be seen around you and it makes you want to curl up with your legs tucked to your chest, your arms wrapped around them and your head burrowed in your knees. It is because of loneliness that addictions are formed, mistakes are made, all out of desperation to remove the pain. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to never experience loneliness ever again, especially at this time of the year? I would like to share some hope with you because I believe when you believe this truth, you will never be alone ever again.
Did you know that your generation is not the only one to have experienced loneliness? Loneliness has been a disease to our society for thousands of years. In the year 1 B.C. one person received news that would carry a message for those who are lonely. A virgin named Mary was approached by an angel, a messenger of God, and told that the power of God would overshadow her and she would give birth to a son who would be called “Immanuel.”
The babies name is named Jesus The Anointed One (Christ,) names had a different purpose in those days than they do today. God used names not only for us to identify someone but also as a declaration of his message through that person. Immanuel means, “God with us.” Immanuel means someone will always be able to relate to your loneliness. For those who do not know, somewhere between 700-800 years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah gave a prophecy to the people of Israel and the prophecy came from God. It says that the Lord would give them a sign, that a child would be born of a virgin and they would call him Immanuel which means, “God with us.” (Isaiah 7:14)
“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”) (Is. 7:14) When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:18-25)
Jesus was sent into the world to be with us because God loves you.
I don’t know what you think about God, especially in a world filled with others who do and say things bearing the name of Jesus that completely contradicts His message, but let me just say sincerely from the bottom of my heart: God loves you. God does not hate you, He does not despise you, He does not look at you as some pest. God sincerely wants you to experience a life full of love, peace, joy, and so much more. And He proved this by sending Jesus into the world. Since it is the love of Jesus that brought Him to us, the truth you are looking for starts with your choice to simply love Jesus. The end of your loneliness starts with your choice to simply love Jesus.
Even if you do not believe in God, I truly encourage you to continue reading on and hope that by the end you do find at least one practical tool to help you overcome your loneliness.
Learn from the loneliest person.
From the moment Jesus was born, He has lived a perfect life, choosing never to do that which is the opposite of God’s nature, to rebel against His will and be selfish. This was so when He was murdered, He made a way so that by choosing to believe in Him, we can have can have a relationship with God and have an everlasting life during life and after death.
What does that have to do with loneliness?
I will say it again, Jesus never sinned. Let me ask you a question, have you ever done anything selfish? Jesus was the only man on earth, who no one could ever relate to. He grew up as a child, and before his crucifixion and resurrection, walked this earth, fully man and fully God on earth for thirty-three years, no one could ever truly relate to that. Jesus would have been “the” loneliest person on earth. Yet despite being the one person who could have been the loneliest in history, it did not define Him or overcome Him. Why? Because Jesus understood that in reality, He was never alone. Not only did He have The Father and The Spirit with Him at all times, being God. But Jesus surrounded himself with His disciples, his friends & his family.
The beautiful thing about Christmas is it is a time of giving. It’s a time of year where people are more generous, more kind (unless you are driving on the streets, its madness ruled by rapscallions out there, I tell you!) This time of year, people want to give more than they receive because, at the end of the day, it feels good to be generous and give. You need to give love to others, very generously and stop waiting for others to give you love first. Selfishness will only lead to selfishness. There is no selfishness in love, so how can you expect to receive something by being selfish about it? Give love to others, give it freely, and you will start finding the right steps to overcoming loneliness.
Know what steps to take against loneliness:
Simply loving Jesus gives us 4 things to battle loneliness,
- Awareness: First, know that you are not a bad person for being lonely. Even Jesus was lonely. But know that loneliness is not good for you, especially when the devil will use it as an opportunity to break you down.
- Prayer: This is communication to God, the more you communicate to God, you also make yourself available to hear from God and recognize His voice, the voice of the one who will always be able to relate to you and who will always be with you.
- Knowledge: The more we pray to God, the more we will be drawn to learn more about who God is so that we can be positive and know what His will is. Reading the bible also reminds us how much we are incredibly loved and looked after by our Father in heaven, it is a perfect attack against loneliness.
- People: The greatest commandment in the Bible is to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and all of your strength. And to love others as you love yourself. The more you love God the more you will be drawn to love others, when you love others you are surrounding yourself with a community. A community of people who also will experience loneliness, who have struggles, who need people, who need God. A community who is loved by Jesus who wants them to be one with the Father just as He is. The same Jesus who desires the same community for you, desires you to have the same community with others.
So the only question that you need to answer is do you love Jesus? If you do, never stop loving Him, because your cure for loneliness is to simply love Jesus.
Caleb S. Davis
( If you are encouraged by this post, don’t keep it to yourself, Christmas time is one of the loneliest times of years. Every year, 44,193 Americans take their own life. So whether you believe in Jesus yet or not, there may be someone out there who needs a message of hope.)