It’s the difference between the physical truth (of being alone) and its emotional appeal (loneliness).
It’s not a dark place to be alone… but actual loneliness grips us like darkness sometimes doesn’t it? It’s almost like it has a plan and desires to take us somewhere we may or may not want to go.
Yes, the other side of loneliness is a deep longing, a desire to belong. While being alone is simply stating a fact. Technically we’re ‘alone’ if no one else (another person) is not around us.
Envision standing alone in the middle of a meadow. No one else is around but you, the sound of the breeze, the flowers, grass, some trees in the distance. Yes, imagine distance between you and the world of people that you know. Inside this meadow, are you lonely or simply alone? Now imagine that this meadow is your heart. What else or who else is there? Does it still look the same? If you said yes to feeling lonely in the meadow, do you still feel the same now that it’s your heart? Is it a sad loneliness or a happy kind?
Sometimes we look for solitude or answers in places like a meadow. Open meadows and distant places and wide spaces. But what about the distant places and wide spaces of our hearts? Are we realizing our true essence in the places inside of our hearts and choosing to intentionally be there, alone and present to commit to things that are crying out for change.
When we do finally meet in this place we are ready for something spectacular. While it is certainly a lonely place (not everyone will take this step with us) it is not the loneliness that we’ve learned about in movies… the sad kind. It is called singleness of heart, and it is a joyous loneliness indeed!
Jeremiah 32:39 says, “I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.
If we are feeling lonely, we may just be in the right place.
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