Read: Matthew 26:30-35
Loneliness is not a foreign feeling for anyone. If you are like me, you probably struggle with loneliness daily. I often struggle with a deep-seated feeling of loneliness. If I am being honest, there is a lostness that somewhere along my journey has planted itself deep within my heart. I, like many of you, have tried to distract myself from the feeling by scrolling through Instagram, hanging out with people, or binging a Netflix show. None of this has worked.
As if the suffering that Jesus was preparing to endure wasn’t enough, we are told in Matthew 26:30-34 that he would have to suffer it alone. In this passage, Jesus looks at His friends who’ve been traveling with Him for three years who would soon abandon him. They of course protest profusely, but we know from this side of the story that Jesus wasn’t wrong. Judas betrays Jesus and then hangs Himself. Peter denies Jesus and then runs away from Him in shame. John seems to be present at the crucifixion, but only as a spectator. Jesus does not die surrounded by friends who love Him, but besides two criminals and in front of an audience that either hates or has lost hope in Him. Worse of all, there is a turning away from the Father as Jesus takes on the sin and shame we should’ve bore. In this moment, Jesus is alone in a way that He had never experienced.
At times in my life I’ve opened up about this feeling that almost always follows me. A lot of Christians have told me I shouldn’t feel this way because it isn’t true. They usually beat me over the head with some Bible verse about how God is always with me. While their intentions are probably good, these conversations have only made me feel guilty, more isolated, and more alone.
I don’t think it’s bad to feel alone. Neither do I think that the solution to loneliness rests in reminding yourself that you aren’t alone because of God’s presence. If we are all honest for a minute, that truth often feels foreign, as we are trying to hold on to a reality that is not tangible. But, I have found a tangible reality that has helped me grapple with this feeling. His name is Jesus. When I am feeling alone, yes I have a God who does not leave me. But an even richer truth is that I have a God who sits beside me and reminds me that He understands how I feel. Because of this, I have a God who can participate in my loneliness in a profound way – not as an outsider, but as one who is instantly acquainted with how I feel. The solution to my loneliness is not to stop feeling lonely, but to take my loneliness to the One who knows, and in that knowing, can intimately relate to me. This is the profound nature of serving a God who was made flesh.
Get alone. Turn off the phone. Search your heart for any loneliness you find. Express it to Jesus and ask Him to enter into it. Remember, He understands how you feel.