Dec 19, 2022
One of my favorite television shows to watch is the reality
series on the History channel
called, Alone. It's a survival show
where 10 contestants are dropped off individually in a remote
wilderness area. There is no contact with each other, and very
little with the producers of the show. The goal of the contest is
simple: Whoever lasts the longest by themselves wins.
One of the most interesting aspects of the show is that there are people who have the physical stamina and survival skills to last a long time, but more often then not, a contestant reaches a point where being alone does them in--and they tap out.
It's hard to be alone. There are definitely moments when we all need some solitude, but long term aloneness is not good (Genesis 2:18). Problems are magnified, self doubt increases and hurts are amplified.
In a recent Washington Post article entitled, Americans are choosing to be alone. Here’s why we should reverse that, author Bryce Ward reveals concerning trends in how much time Americans are spending by themselves. Ward states:
"It is too soon to know the long-term consequences of this shift, but it seems safe to assume that the decline of our social lives is a worrisome development. Spending less time with friends is not a best practice by most standards, and it might contribute to other troubling social trends — isolation, worsening mental health (particularly among adolescents), rising aggressive behavior and violent crime."
Simply put, there are a lot of lonely, hurting people in our community, probably right in your neighborhood...maybe even you. So, what's the solution?
cares about our hurts, brokenness and our loneliness. He wants to
help and come alongside us to bring comfort. One of the ways he
does this is through the Holy Spirit (more about this on Sunday).
Another way he does this is through people. Listen to how the
apostle Paul describes God's comforting presence:
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
God not only spiritually supplies comfort, but he works through the presence of his people to bring comfort to others. I can't think of a more perfect time and season for the people of God to bring the comfort of God to a lonely and hurting world. Church this is our time!
Who can you share the comfort of God with? Who can you invest in and share time with this week? Not only will they feel like they belong, but they will experience the comfort of God.
To learn more give a listen to part two of The Gift Exchange.