My elderly mother grieved four friends’ deaths in the past two weeks at her retirement complex. She tearfully told me that she no longer has anyone to sit with at mealtime. She gets her food and brings it to her room to eat, and spends that time for socializing by herself. She is lonely; her husband passed away ten years ago, and all of her children live far away in other states.
Loneliness is the common thread among the members in my community Bible study discussion group. Almost every lady is single--widowed, divorced, or never married. Although I’m married, I’ve also experienced lonesomeness after mov- ing to different states.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year celebrations magnify people’s loneliness as they endure the holiday season without family or friends. Individuals can attend church or be in a group and still experience that deep ache from not having a conversation or sharing a meal with anyone. Culture has become superficial and shallow; we have more and more acquaintances and fewer friends. There’s a saying that a true friend knows everything about you but still loves you anyway; he/she loves you with all of your quirks.
Are you blessed with a friend or two? Do you encourage, pray for, and help each other when troubled or in need? Do you share your thoughts and communicate freely without worrying what they will think of you? Can you trust them? Jesus is the only friend who will never fail you.
Is it possible to be friends with God? Jesus called His disciples, “friends.” He told them, “I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).
The Lord and two angels appeared to Abraham. According to Genesis 18:17-21, the Lord told Abraham His plans for the city of Sodom. They engaged in a heart- felt conversation and ate a meal together.
Abraham is referred to as God’s friend three times in the Bible. In
Jehoshaphat’s prayer for his nation, he stated, “descendants of Abraham your friend” (2Chronicles 20:7). James wrote, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend” (James 2:23). God Himself declared Abraham His friend in Isaiah 41:8. The basis or foundation of friendship with the Lord is faith.
Do you have faith in God? In this post-Christian age, are you devoted to Him - do you love Him and obey His commands? The Lord Jesus declared, “You are my friends if you do what I command" (John 15:14)
When God said "go," Abraham was obedient and left his country. His faith was demonstrated by his obedience.
Jesus modeled a life of compassion; He befriended the lonely and shunned. he reached out to those who felt alienated from others and were without companions.
This New Year, ask The Lord to lead you to someone who is lonely, and then be a friend to him/her. Remember that whatever you do for those in need, you do for The Lord (Matthew 25:40)
I reminded my Mom that we have a friend in Jesus. I love the song lyrics:
"What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain to bear, all because we don not carry everything to God in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to The Lord in prayer."
When you feel alone and friendless, pray for a godly friend. In the mean- time, be assured that the Lord Jesus knows who you are and how you feel. He invites you to come to Him because He loves you dearly and can help you. He’s trustworthy and gives His friends comfort, peace, hope, and joy. In fact, Jesus is the best friend anyone could ever have...
Cindy Rooy is the author of a Bible study, "Trusting God Through Troubles & Tears." She is the contributing author in several devotional books and websites, and enjoys a speaking ministry. To contact Cindy, email her at cr4Him@gmail.com.