Sacred Suffering

Consider loneliness, not as a hopeless plight, but as an inner void meant to be filled by God, and God alone. Consider it, therefore, as sacred space. Here is where we discover God. Here, His Spirit intertwines with ours. Here, we learn to distinguish God’s voice from all other input.

In times of deepest loneliness, God prepares His loved ones for their destiny. Abraham ventured into the unknown. Joseph was abandoned in prison. The disciple John was banished to Patmos, and received Revelation.

Are you willing to discover the best things of God in your personal loneliness? As we walk alone with God, we no longer rely on the attention and validation of others; we lose our craving for false satisfactions and trendy notions. We become free to think and create. 

Inspiration for magnificent creative works has often been birthed through agonizing loneliness and rejection. These visionary works possess a lasting quality. They touch the depths of the human spirit — because they did not arise merely from the trends of the day.

If we want to live effectively, we must guard this sacred lonely space from the clutter of busyness and worry; the constant barrage of voices.

Do not be quick to flee from the agony of loneliness, but rather learn to embrace it. Consider what Jesus said in His own time of loneliness: “Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.” (John 16:32b NIV)

Prayer-Dear God, we thirst for you, yet we are terrified of loneliness, of not mattering to anyone. Train us to enjoy your presence so that we dare to be alone with you. Amen.

(With thanks to Diane Eaton,, used by permission)


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