I think we’ve all felt it at least once; that feeling you get when you see a handsome young man and a pretty young lady walking down the street ahead of you. As you watch them, all smiles, their hands tightly interlocked, you’re suddenly aware of just how empty your hands are. Or maybe you’re scrolling through Facebook, and your screen is filled with two beaming faces and a ring. In the comments, people are expressing their heartiest congratulations, but you can’t help but feel the pain of something a little like being left out. You walk through the store on Valentine’s Day, and you see all the flowers, cards, and chocolate, and you wish that one of them was meant for you.
Ever since the dawn of time, people have been engaging (no pun intended) in this curious thing called marriage. It’s when a guy and a girl like each other so much that they choose to live together . . . for the rest of their lives. It’s a beautiful and holy thing, because it was made by God. It’s the one of the purest forms of love, because it's a reflection of the love God has for us. We hear great expositions at weddings about it, and how it symbolizes Jesus and His church. But, unfortunately, romance seems to be a little like winning the lottery; it only happens to some people. As a result, an often-ignored question looms in the air: what happens if it doesn’t happen for me?
Before His journey into darkness, Jesus went to a garden to pray, preparing Himself for what was to come. As He writhed in the dark and bitter anguish of His broken soul, I think He experienced one of the most human of emotions; He was lonely. When He returned to His disciples, only to find them sleeping in the face of His darkest hour, He asked them, “Couldn’t you just watch with me for one hour?” In the looming shadow of the ultimate betrayal, the rejection of His Father, I believe Jesus longed for company. Though He was God, He feared what we all fear: being alone. When He was on the cross, His life slowly leaving Him, He cried out in anguish, desperate for someone to be with Him; desperate to not be alone. So, if the Great Maker of All has felt loneliness, why do we feel guilty when we do?
People seem to treat romance as either the cure for everything, or as a sign of weakness. They either loudly proclaim how wonderful their "significant other" is, or they declare how they are “single and satisfied” at an equal level of volume. But the fact is, I think it is something that we will all long for; that special connection with another human being. However, some of us may never find it. I’m writing this because I know the feeling; those lonely drives home when you turn on the radio just so it feels like there is someone else in the car, or those long nights when you cry into your pillow, wishing there was someone there with you, but there isn’t. What can we do with the loneliness? I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to this question entirely, but when I feel lonely, some of my favorite verses come from Psalm 103:2-5. “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” God knows what we need, because He’s needed it, too. He knows what it feels like to be lonely, and He has promised to give us good things. Jesus said that even sparrows cannot escape the Father’s notice, so how on Earth could you? If you’re like me, a single person who struggles with that aching grip of loneliness, I’d love to tell you that it will be alright, and that it will all work out for you in the end, but I can’t. But I do want to remind you that the very fact that you feel lonely means that you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. But Jesus wants to meet you in the darkness, and He wants to give you the very best of things. He wants to give you His heart, and He wants you to know Him in the most intimate of ways. He can make the most beautiful character from your deepest loneliness. He longs to be with you, and to walk with you when no one else can. So, take heart, dear one; whether you’re single or a sparrow, know this: you are not alone.
"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." ~ Matthew 10:29-31