Feeling Lonely

At our final chapel Bible Study, before the pandemic officially shut it down, our numbers had halved. What was once a full room was occupied by only ten people. Interestingly, of those ten, seven came from households of one occupant. It may not have been a greater thirst for biblical knowledge which brought out those seven, but rather a more intensive need for social interaction. Living by one’s self can render a home into prison from which one must be released. As most of us settle down to sit through the pandemic, couples may rejoice in each other’s company, and families will always provide each other with plenty of entertainment. The single person, on the other hand, must guard against the wraith of loneliness. Certain expressions which have seen fit to enter our language of late, such as self-solation and social distancing, may sound spine-chilling at the best of times. To the person suffering from loneliness, they are yet more straws with which to break a weary camel’s back.  

Having a day job that brings me contact with hundreds of people, my quiet house is often a refuge from a hectic office. For me, the prospect of a few weeks’ reading and writing, tidying and sorting, is a delightful prospect. For others- and perhaps me eventually- starvation of human company may prove deadlier than Covid-19. 

I should also admit that even within a marriage or a family, one may feel alone. As single folk press their noses to the glass, eyeing jealously the happy families within, it should be said that shared domestic life is not all plain sailing. Sometimes partners are unsaved or relationships strained. 

So should the Christian- single or otherwise- feel lonely? On the face of it, certainly not. Theologically, we have the Comforter living within, the Spirit of Jesus who promised to neither leave not forsake. We are a part of the global church with its many millions of members; we are part of the cosmic church, the communion of saints, the ecclesia in its entirely, consisting of all God’s people from all times and places. And last but not least, we are- or should be- members of the local church with its many avenues of fellowship.

All this sounds great. And it really is. Yet this may not banish the feelings of lonesomeness. So there are two final thoughts before I leave.

Loneliness is a feeling, not state. What we feel and what we are, are not the same. I may feel like an unforgiven sinner. Satan may even tell me as much. But if I am ln Christ, His promises of redemption apply to me, regardless of how I feel. Our salvation is based upon the solemn finality of God’s word, not the erratic state of our emotions. Likewise, we may feel we are alone, but we are not. He who is the Centre of the universe comes to our homes and sits with us. You may feel lonely, but you are never alone. I wonder if hell is both the feeling and the state, but that’s another post.

Secondly, loneliness, even as a feeling, is only ever a temporary state. This life is a vale of tears, which means that there is sorrow to be found- in our health, our church, our families, our relationships. This ensures we settle not too comfortably in this fallen world. Our home is above, our fellowship is above, our riches are above. So feeling lonely may well be an unpleasant but standard feature of human existence, even for the believer. But it’s reign will not last, for our time here is short.


When my father and my mother forsake me,

Then the Lord will take care of me.

Ps. 27:10


Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

Deut. 31:6