Not an Enemy, But a Friend

“It almost goes without saying that we all crave perfect love. We want the love of a mother, the love a father, the love of a friend, the love of a spouse, the love of someone. We want an enduring and unconditional love. Even the worst criminal locked up in prison longs for someone to love him. Have you ever thought about why? If the origin of the universe is an accident, and if through time and chance human beings are who they are, why do all people want to be loved? Further, we might also ask why all human love is ultimately disappointing. No spouse loves us exactly like we want. Too often family love erupts into friction and conflict. Friends fail us. We desperately want someone to love us perfectly. This is why loneliness is so painful. I have spoken often to my church and others about my struggles with loneliness through years of singleness (not that those two always go together, they just seem to for me). There is a palatable ache within that can wash over you like waves of despair. I could analyze it. I could philosophize about it. I could even teach on it. But I could not overcome it. Then I began to look at the pain from the perspective of beauty and to consider why I felt the way I did. I came to discover that loneliness was not an enemy but a friend. It is a painful reminder that I was not made for myself. I was made for Him, and the pain is God’s way of saying, “Here I am!” Loneliness has become a guide and a friend in my spiritual journey. When I feel lonely, I am feeling theology inside. All the pleasures, desires, and loves in this world will not take that pain away. We desperately want someone to love us perfectly, yet no one does. But when we wake up to the fact that no relationship can fully satisfy, we realize that we are lonely for God.”

–Steve DeWitt, Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything.

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