GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
PRESCRIPTION FOR LONELINESS
This article was written by Dr. Thomas E. Farmer, the former Pastor, St. Paul United Methodist Church, Largo, FL, and is used by permission.
There is a word that we call loneliness. It is perhaps one of the deepest maladies of our time. The condition has many symptoms: an unfulfilled yearning to love and be loved; a hunger to feel that others really care; a feeling of being excluded; emptiness; a willingness to touch and embrace and give, without someone to share those gifts with; and just plain isolation from the wells of joy, happiness, and fulfillment!
Loneliness, if unchecked, has led many into living hells. Usually a person moves through the initial stages of loneliness into the process of building walls around themselves where "others" cannot "hurt them." This is accompanied by the feeling of negative emotions like anger, resentment, and bitterness.
This person becomes very adept at blocking all attempts on the part of others who sincerely desire to help. More walls of separation and deeper retreat mark the daily journey of this troubled soul. It is truly one of the saddest and most painful of the experiences of life!
I want to offer a prescription for loneliness that will, if taken as directed, completely cure this all-consuming disease of the mind and spirit.
(1) REALIZE THAT YOU ARE NOT UNIQUE! It may come as a surprise but EVERYBODY feels the same emotions that you feel. Loneliness is not reserved for persons who are single, or in any other way "separated" from the traditional family unit. Married people are lonely; children feel loneliness; people who are rich feel lonely just like people who are poor. Loneliness comes to the teenager and the golden ager!
(2) QUIT COUNTING ON OTHER PEOPLE TO MAKE YOU HAPPY! We have no right to expect that our happiness and well-being is someone else's responsibility! It is not! Of course we need others - that's not what I'm saying. But to wait impatiently for someone else to ring the bell is to court disaster. Some of the best advice that I have ever received was from a God-loving black custodian (one of the happiest persons that I have known) who declared: "Every tub has to sit on its own bottom!"
(3) BARE YOUR SOUL TO GOD...AND OTHERS! God is still in business. God is always reaching out to you, waiting to help if and when you allow it. Pray real prayers. Tell God exactly what you are feeling! God understands and there is hope for the person who calls on God for help! Give your friends a chance to be your friends. They cannot read your mind nor your moods. Say it to them..."I need your help!
(4) REACH OUT AND GIVE! There is more healing power in Jesus' way of life than in any other! He said "You must lose your life in order to find it." Here is the artesian well of joy and happiness! We cannot out-give God! The more your life is emptied by giving of yourself-the more your heart is filled with joy and gladness!
Well, there's a prescription that will heal loneliness. Take it daily- all four doses until all the symptoms have fled to places unknown! May you have joy and peace.