Week 5, Day 2

Not Alone: God’s Presence in the Midst of Loneliness

After years of enslavement, Joseph is unfairly sent to prison, further isolating him after being apart from his family for a decade. We can only imagine how lonely this season of his life must have been and yet Scripture tells us, “But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him His faithful love” (Genesis 39:21a).

We will all likely walk through seasons of loneliness and isolation. These may be due to circumstances, such as a move or loss, or God-allowed times for our spiritual growth, like Jesus’ time in the wilderness. It can also be through exclusion and feeling different, an experience both Joseph and Jesus were no strangers to. The pain that can accompany loneliness is deep and can feel hopeless at times. It can be hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Though His nearness can be hard to sense sometimes, we see God’s promise that He will always be with us throughout scripture. In Deuteronomy 31, He encourages His people, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” In Isaiah, He reminds us, “I am the One who formed you. Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you and called you by name. You are Mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you” (Isaiah 43:1-2a, abbreviated). In Matthew 28:20b, we again see the promise that God will be with us to the very end.

You are seen by the God who sees (Genesis 16:13). You and your pain are known by the One who created you and promises to never leave nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). You are the Beloved of God. His Name is Emmanuel, God with us. The Lord has made our hearts to long for Him and be satisfied only by Him. He has also made us to be in community. As He said in Genesis 2:18, it is not good for man to be alone. There is purpose in God’s Church to be His hands and feet. Each one of us has an irreplaceable spot in the family of God. At times, loneliness is due to circumstances outside of our control, but other times, it can be self-imposed due to a history of hurt that makes it challenging to trust others. If this is the case, God offers healing for these wounded places, and this healing comes through His love and godly community.

God’s promise remains: He will always be with us. He remained close to Joseph throughout his years in prison and had so much left to write in his story. Lean into Him in the pain and loneliness. Don’t let your pain go wasted. Let it move you toward God. He promises to be near to the brokenhearted and to save those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). So often these are the parts of our journey where He refines us and grows us the most. May we know Your nearness and hope today and every day, Lord!

Reflection Questions

• Where in my life am I currently experiencing, or have I experienced loneliness?

• How can I become more aware of God’s Presence on a daily basis?

• If I am noticing long patterns of loneliness, how is God calling me to partner with Him to engage in Christian community or pursue healing from past hurts?
Amy has been a member of Heritage Church since moving to South Georgia in 2016. She currently serves in Kid’s Ministry and as a therapist with Formation Counseling Services, whose ministry is supported by Heritage. She is married to Zach Owen and has two amazing kids - Addie and Josiah.
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1 Comment

Melinda Wilson - October 3rd, 2023 at 10:11am

While being in a marriage that was less than desirable I felt alone. While going through the divorce and for some time afterwards there was a heavy dark cloud of loneliness. I tried keeping myself busy to pass time and to be distracted from wishing someone was with me. I attended a church where I felt isolated and people did not speak to me. I felt deeply wounded. One morning I got out of my bed, the kids were gone, the house was clean, I had no where to go, no family to visit, the people I called didn’t answer their phone. I dropped to my knees and cried out to God. I asked him to please take these feelings from me. I was exhausted and worn down. I no longer wanted to feel this way. Before long I was becoming ok with being alone. I felt fine being home by myself. I even started going to restaurants and eating alone. Then on the day after my daughter’s wedding, I woke up and decided I was going to the beach. I loaded my car up and went. I sat on the beach and read my book while enjoying His creation. I am ok. 😊