The Lord God said:
“It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a suitable partner for him.” (Gn 2:18)
One of my seminary professors always made the distinction between feeling lonely and being alone.
Loneliness, we were told, was a state of mind. One could feel lonely in a crowd. Loneliness would dog a person, following in that person’s footsteps throughout the day and night. Loneliness would lead to depression during the day and insomnia at night.
Being alone, on the other had, was a state of being. It was a physical separation from other people. Being alone, in and of itself, was a neutral state. Some people, when they are alone, can become lonely, hence mixing the state of being with the state of mind. Other people, when alone, would use the time and/or experience to rest or rejuvenate.
In the creation story in the Book of Genesis, God indicated that it was not good for man to be alone — in that state of being — for an indeterminate amount of time. God knew that a protracted state of being alone could eventually lead to one becoming lonely. Which is why God made a suitable partner for man.
Most people look a long time for that suitable partner. And when they find that partner, they celebrate with joy.
However, whether one finds a partner or chooses to remain alone, in one sense, we are never truly alone because our most suitable partner is the Lord Himself.
Those who become lonely often forget that. They look at their state of being alone and become depressed or disillusioned and begin to swirl into a funk that is marked by confusion or despair. The Lord knows us. The Lord loves us. The Lord would never leave us alone.
You can count on that.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who feel lonely and separated from others that they might have the strength to turn to the Lord in their need.