There was emotional pain in the garden of Eden even before any sin had occurred!
Adam looked around at and worked at naming all the animals two by two but there was just one like himself. God looked at this and said that the condition was not good. Genesis 2:18
All fulfillment comes from emptiness filled. Adam had to realize that something was missing, he had to feel lonely, before he could experience the thrill and gratitude of receiving Eve.
I don’t know about you, but loneliness is about as painful a feeling as I can experience. I often feel it even when surrounded by lots of people wanting to talk to me and gain benefit from what I say. I find that no amount of appreciation takes away loneliness. What I need is to be SEEN for who I am and to have the other person LIKE BEING with me just because I am.
If, in order to be liked, I have to hide parts of who I am, then the affirmation does not take away my loneliness. I think, “If they really knew me they wouldn’t like me so it does not count.” However, if I let them see who I am, they value the knowledge and wisdom but feel uncomfortable and don’t hang around.
In the poem, The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson, the author says that all earthly things will let me down until I quit running from my Heavenly lover and seek my needs at his hand.
In the Poem Jesus says to me as I flee him to find myself in people or nature or work:
Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me! Strange, piteous, futile thing! Wherefore should any set thee love apart? Seeing none but I makes much of naught’ (He said), ‘And human love needs human meriting: How hast thou merited? Of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot? Alack, thou knowest not how little worthy of any love thou art! Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee, save Me, save only Me? All which I took from thee I did but take, not for thy harms, but just that thou might’st seek it in my arms. All which thy child’s mistake fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home. Rise, clasp My hand, and come!’ (Halts by me the footfall of his hounding steps. Is my gloom, after all, shade of his hand, outstretched caressingly?) Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest, I am He Whom thou seekest! Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me!
The problem is that, to get rid of my weakness, I must give up all sense that I deserve and can earn acceptance elsewhere. I must accept that in me dwells no good thing and any attractive beauty others see in me must come from Jesus and point to him.
Then all these other things will be added unto me. Matthew 6:33 I must use the sensation of loneliness to flee to Jesus and ask for a hug and I must tell Jesus all of my trials and joys and needs. When he is enough, then and only then will I feel fulfilled by: spouse and children and jobs and friends and activities of distraction.
Of course Jesus is invisible and all these other things seem big and in my face. John 20:29 I need to be still and know. Psalm 46:10 I need to go into my “closet” to hear his still small voice. Matthew 6:6 Life is so noisy that it is hard to hear him and let him take away my loneliness. I suppose I could wait till heaven when he will be visible, but I want to walk with him today, I am ALREADY his and dwell in him and he in me and we in the father. John 14:20
True freedom from loneliness will have to wait till heaven but I can find relief in the here and now by finding Jesus to be enough and then letting him love me through his people. John 13:35 Sometimes, like Elijah, I do have fellow brothers and sisters but feel as if, “Poor me, I’m the only one” I Kings 19:10
If I try to get rid of the feeling entirely with intense relationships or alcohol or being entertained and busy, it will always let me down and cause damage.
Dear Jesus, thank you for the blessing of loneliness that make time with you so needed and so precious, thank you for taking away my loneliness now and for all eternity, thank you that you never leave me nor forsake me. Hebrews 13:5