Reach out to someone - We live in the digital age— an age that makes global communication possible without ever needing to breathe the same air as the person you’re talking to. Text/snap/email/call/FaceTime someone you know. Odds are, they’re as lonely as you are. Now is a great opportunity to “encourage one another every day, as long as it is called ’today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb 3:13). Which brings us to our second point…
Fight your sin - “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire, he breaks out against all sound judgment” (Proverbs 18:1). There is a difference between being alone and isolating yourself. Let me explain what I mean: I was watching an episode of Planet Earth that was showing African wildlife. There was a wildebeest that left its herd. After it passed by the camera, you could see them underneath a tree: lions. You can guess what happened to the wildebeest. This would not have happened if he was surrounded by others. Being alone is a neutral situation, it’s not sinful. But if you use this forced loneliness to isolate yourself, you may be seeking your own desire—and your own ruin. Satan would love to use this as an opportunity to tempt you while you’re secluded. Therefore, as you find yourself alone during this season, ask for help from others and pray. “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
Fellowship with God - The social structure that we were created for was to be with people, with God. Right now, people are largely missing from that equation. But God is not missing. He is Immanuel, “God with us.” And we have never had an opportunity like this to be “us with God” where nearly all of the distractions of life have been removed. God could be using all of this to take away the things that distract our hearts from him. He may be transforming us to say first, “all I have is Jesus” to saying, “all I need is Jesus,” to finally saying (with joy!) “all I want is Jesus.” Therefore, go pray. And “when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:6). Be alone with God. In your loneliness, you are never alone.
Join Jesus - One of the most amazing things I have learned in 2020 (through the help of good friends, good books, and the Good Lord) is that my suffering can be an opportunity to experience Jesus in ways I never have before. The apostle Paul writes, “…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…” (Philippians 3:10). Do you feel cut off from others? Let your righteous sorrow over paused fellowship with friends cause you to taste Jesus’ glory on the cross as he cries to his Father, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Instead of fighting this, consider recognizing what Jesus wants you to do in your loneliness: join him in his suffering and loneliness. Loneliness could have no greater cure than this, than by fellowshipping with “God with us” on the cross.