Did you ever just have one of those days? If you’re single like me, then you know nothing makes you tired of being alone faster than when the deck seems stacked against you.
Just a few weeks ago, I had a tough week at work, was up for an award that I didn’t get, facing dental surgery, had my car towed and felt completely adrift by myself. It’s almost laughable now, but at the time, I was having “one of those days.”
Throw in the fact that I’ve spent the better part of my 34 years on this earth waiting to meet that special someone, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a serious pity party. And boy, did I let the party begin!
I had about a hundred questions for God. Questions like: Why does life have to be hard? Why do I have to walk through storms? Why is it so difficult to find that certain someone? And why is it all the more challenging to deal with life by yourself?
I admit I really thought I had God in a corner. I can imagine Him just shaking his head at me, smiling gently. You see, He was about to come through in a big way, and I had no idea.
As I sat in the middle of my circumstances, a couple of friends stepped into the picture to deliver some much-needed help and support.
And in the middle of me having “one of those days,” the Lord asked me, “Why are you trying to bear all of this on your own? Am I not here with you? Have I not provided you with friends?”
Yeah, I know. It seems like common sense now, but at the time, it was like discovering the prize at the bottom of the cereal box. I did have friends. I was not all alone like I felt.
The truth is that the circumstances bothered me less than the fact that I was tired of being alone, and I know others feel the same way. Yet my circumstances seemed to amplify my singleness.
Now I know all the happily married, well-meaning, amateur counselors out there will be quick to throw out, “You’re not by yourself. You have Jesus.” Yes, that’s true I know, but I would challenge them to consider this. In Genesis 2:18, “The Lord God said, it is not good for the man to be alone.” If we had God from the very beginning, then why did he declare this?
The fact is that God has plans for many of us to be married. We’re just waiting for that season. And there are some that are called to be single. Now don’t panic! I know some of you suddenly gasped and thought, “Am I called to be single?” If you’re not Superman and don’t enjoy living in a fortress of solitude, it’s pretty safe to say you’re not called to singleness.
I’ve considered what the verse in Genesis means for me. While the sometimes difficult cycles of life can leave you lonely and longing for that someone to be there in that moment, standing by your side, I am not so sure that this is entirely what God was talking about.
What I think this verse is addressing is that we are social beings. God never meant for us to do life entirely alone. Think about it this way: If you’re an island and a storm comes, how is it not going to overtake you? But if you’re part of a large body, like a continent, then sure, you’ll get battered a bit, but the rest of the body will help you weather the storm.
It’s in relationships with other people that we grow, stretch and sharpen, and it’s in unity with others that we become anchored and unshakeable.
So what’s my point? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Just as much as we need others, they need us all the more. Everyone is tired of being alone. And everyone faces storms. In Matthew 5:45, it says, “He (God) causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” So basically, no one is exempt. It’s going to rain! So why not be an umbrella for someone else?
Look at the people around you. Do you know what they’re going through? And will you care enough to say, “I’m here for you?” Sometimes being there is simply inviting them to dinner or coffee. Maybe it’s just playing a round of Frisbee golf (yes, men … you’re not exempt from this either). It might be crying with them, or even praying with them. And I don’t mean saying you’ll pray “for” them, but actually praying.
You see, in my 34 years, I’ve learned that life is not always perfect. Sometimes you face hard things. Sometimes you’re single longer than you thought you would be and just get tired of being alone.
If life were perfect, then the guy would always get the girl, everything would work out and there would be an unforgettable 80’s soundtrack. Basically, we’d all be living in a John Hughes movie.
Just remember, we’re all in this together. You’re tired of being alone. I’m tired of being alone. But if we’ve got each other, maybe we’re not so alone after all. So don’t just sit there in your singleness. There are people out there, just like you, who need your friendship as much as you need theirs.