“Going a little farther, (Jesus) fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from Him. ‘Abba, Father,’ He said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”’ Mark 14: 35-36
We all feel lonely at one time or another. Some more than others. The question is, how do we deal with loneliness?
Some try to lose it in a crowd; others hide it behind the mask of busyness. Still, others attempt to drown it out with distraction: social media, news, TV, Netflix, medication … but what happens when the noise fades? When the bottle is empty?
Jesus was very familiar with loneliness and anxiety. In Mark 14, we find Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane with His disciples. Jesus knew what was coming: betrayal and the cross. Talk about anxiety and stress! His negative emotions were so overwhelming that Jesus began to pray with greater intensity than ever before. Jesus went to be alone with God, pouring out His heart to His heavenly Father and begging for another way. Yet, He prayed, “Not my will, but yours.”
So what can we learn from Jesus about dealing with feelings of loneliness and anxiety? How should we respond?
- Spend time with God.
We must get alone with God in order to come face to face with ourselves. No more avoiding, ignoring or distracting – and this isn’t easy. For many of us, our past mistakes and our sin are so painful that we try to ignore It or hide from it. But until we come face to face with God, we will never be free from those emotions. Jesus didn’t sin, but our sins sure killed Him.
- Choose God’s will.
In the end, Jesus chose God’s will even when faced with a horrific death on a cross. By surrendering our lives to God, by saying “not my will but yours,” we encounter the incredible presence of God that fills us with hope, love and mercy. Jesus found courage to go forward in faith.
- God rewards those who walk in His will.
God the Father raised God the Son from the dead. He reigns over all in Heaven today. Our ultimate reward may not be realized until farther in the future- sometimes not until Heaven, but rewards always come in God’s will.
If you’re struggling with feelings of loneliness, go to God. Turning your life over to Him, you’ll find acceptance, forgiveness, and the courage to move ahead in faith. You’ll discover comfort in knowing you’re never really alone. Are you ready to confront your loneliness?