I miss seeing my friends. I hadn’t fully realized how much I was craving community until I got off the phone with a close friend. The thought that I didn’t know when I would be able to see her in person again left me with a heavy feeling of loneliness. Maybe you’ve been feeling the same way lately.
Loneliness is real. For many of us, the Covid-19 pandemic has increased our sense of isolation. Coming out of the holiday season, there is still so much uncertainty about when this crisis will end. Heading into 2021 may feel even more daunting and isolating than ever.
If you’re feeling this way today, I have some good news for you: you are not alone. There is hope. Why? Because even in the midst of our loneliness, God is with us.
God Created Us for Relationships
As an introvert, I thrived for a good chunk of quarantine. However, after a few weeks, even my super reserved, introverted side was longing for connection.
God created humans in His own image. Just as He is relational and desires to have a relationship with us, we are also relational beings. Our desire for relationships is one of the ways we reflect God’s character to the world. In Genesis 1, God’s first blessing to mankind included charges to cultivate relationships with Him, with each other, and with the Earth.
“God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” Genesis 1:28
So why do we experience loneliness? We experience loneliness because God created us to have meaningful connections, but they have been broken. We were designed to thrive off of relationships with both God and each other, and, just as pain is a symptom that indicates an injury, our loneliness is a symptom that indicates a break in these connections.
Through Jesus, Our Relationships Are Restored
You don’t have to look very far to see that sin has broken our relationship with God, or that deception, selfishness, and greed have broken our relationships with each other. Distrust, isolation, and loneliness mark our human relationships.
The relationships we were created for have been damaged. What happens now? Is there hope?
In fact, we do have hope! Why? Because God has not left us alone!
In the midst of all the loneliness, there is still good news. Through Jesus, our relationships with God and each other are restored. Ephesians 2 puts it best:
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:5-7
Because of our sin, we deserve eternal death— eternal separation from God. But because He loves us, God restored us to Himself through Christ Jesus. Our relationship with God has been renewed and reinstated, and we are now members of God’s family (Ephesians 1:5-7). No matter what. Now, our sin and even our feelings of loneliness and isolation cannot stop us from having a relationship with God.
God has also restored our relationships with each other. Ephesians goes on to say that through Christ, we are reconciled to one another. Jesus makes our relationships whole once and for all!
“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” Ephesians 2:14-16
In Our Loneliness, We Have Hope
We continue to wait for Jesus to come again and for God to restore His world once and for all. And as we wait, the world continues to erode. As long as we live in and experience the brokenness of our world, we will also experience the symptoms of brokenness. God has restored our relationships through Jesus, but as long as we experience broken relationships on this side of Earth, we will experience loneliness.
And yet, there is hope.
We have hope because God loves us so much that He sent His Son to become like one of us and bear the weight of our brokenness so that we can have a relationship with Him. We have hope because Jesus can and does restore our relationships. And nothing, not our sin, not our brokenness, not our feelings of loneliness and isolation, can change that. We have hope because even in our current brokenness and loneliness, God is with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. In the midst of the loneliness caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have hope.
Rose, if you’re feeling lonely today, know that God sees you. Your loneliness points to the fact that God made you in His image, to have meaningful relationships with Him and other people. God will not leave you in your loneliness. He has, is, and will restore you.
Malaya Gaboury is a native New Yorker who loves Jesus, coffee, books, and theater. As a teen herself, she firmly believes that God is actively working in her generation and that no one is too young to have a big life with God. Connect with Malaya through her blog.