Those words ring true. The human spirit was not made for isolation. From the beginning, God understood that: “The Lord God said, ‘It isn’t good for the man to live alone.’”(Genesis 2:18 CEV).
We want companionship. We need someone with whom to celebrate our triumphs and mourn our losses, but sometimes, in spite of our best efforts, loneliness strikes. A recent study by the National Science Foundation found that one in four people admit to being lonely.◊ It’s a sad truth, but one we’ve all faced. Each of us has known a time in our lives when we’ve felt completely alone.
Where is our hope in that moment?
Jesus himself gives us the answer. In John 16, Jesus is speaking to his disciples about his impending death. He warns them: “The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone” (John 16:32 NRSV).
Jesus knew he would face abandonment, but he did not despair. His very next words explain: “Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.” Jesus understood that God would be with him no matter what happened. Jesus offers us that same assurance.
In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus makes this promise: “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Jesus vowed that just as God was with him, He will be with us. Because Jesus experienced extreme loneliness and isolation, he understands exactly how we feel and is compassionate toward us. In these passages, he offers comfort and encouragement.
Regardless of what you face today, take heart. You are not alone. You have God’s solemn promise: “I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 CEV).
*This story is found in John 16:32-33.
◊Find more about the loneliness study here.