“Adam wasn’t lonely because he was imperfect but because he was perfect. The ache for friends is not the result of sin.” Timothy Keller
I’ve felt this ache before. There are multiple reasons why we feel this ache. Sometimes it is a natural longing. Sometimes it is because of what society says about friendships. Sometimes it’s because we are in a season of loneliness. Everyone wants a friend to walk through life with and to go on adventures. A friend who will sharpen and encourage you.
So what are we to do when we start feeling this ache? There’s probably a lot of different ways to deal with this ache (ice cream always helps :)). Below are the five things I try to do when I feel this ache start to descend on my heart.
1. Sleep – Sleep always gives me a little perspective on the situation. “At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.” Jeremiah 31:26.
2. Prayer – I ask the Lord why I’m feeling the ache. What does He want me to do? What does He want me to learn? Honestly, I just talk to Him about how much my heart aches in that moment and try to focus on having a thankful heart regardless of the circumstances. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7.
3. Not Alone – Realizing that everyone feels this way at one time or another helps. I’m not alone in this feeling. Someone, somewhere else is also feeling this way. It doesn’t feel so weighty if I’m not alone. There are many Scripture verses on loneliness. If I was the only one who felt this ache, I tend to think there wouldn’t be so many. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18.
4. Reaching Out – “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” Psalm 25:16 reminds me that in my reaching out to others, the Lord might be using me to alleviate this ache for someone else and in the process be lessening my own. He has called us to love and be gracious to others.
5. Made for Friendships – The Lord created us for relationships. “And let us connsider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25.
Friendship is beautiful when it is anchored in Him. The ache for friendship has its own form of beauty as well. Whether it be from our drawing closer to Him in our loneliness or by seeing the blessing of Him alleviating our loneliness. May you embrace the ache and run to Him.