The Sacred Place Of Loneliness

May 19, 2017
by Diane Eaton

Psalm 42:2a – My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. (NIV)

One morning, while I was at my computer, my 15-year-old son interrupted my thoughts with these words: "Mom, do you know what the biggest problem in society is? It is loneliness!" He had no idea that at that very moment my fingers were poised over my keyboard ready to type the title, The Sacred Place of Loneliness.

That was in the 1990s. My son was eager to share what experts would later discover through extensive socio/scientific research: loneliness is at the root of the troubles facing youth. Without addressing loneliness, healing is impossible.

Once again, my fingers are poised over this title. Today, I invite you to consider loneliness, not as a hopeless plight, but as an inner void meant to be filled by God, and God alone. Consider it, therefore, as sacred space. Here is where we discover God. Here, His Spirit intertwines with ours. Here, we learn to distinguish God's voice from all other input.

In times of deepest loneliness, God often prepares His loved ones for their destiny. Abraham stood alone when he ventured into the unknown. Joseph was left abandoned in prison. The disciple John was banished on Patmos, where he received his revelation. We, too, can discover the best things of God in the experience of loneliness.

As we learn to walk alone with God, we no longer rely on the attention and validation of others; we lose our craving for false satisfactions and trendy notions. We become freer to think and create.

Inspiration for magnificent creative works has often been birthed through agonizing loneliness and rejection: art, literature, music, poetry, theology, and much more. These visionary works possess a lasting quality. They can touch the depths of the human spirit — because they did not arise merely from the trends of the day.

If we want to live effectively, we must guard this sacred space from clutter — like superficialities, busy-ness, and worries. We need to guard it from the constant barrage of voices; to fail to do so is how we end up doing things that God never authorized.

Let's not be quick to flee from the agony of loneliness, but rather to learn to embrace it. Consider what Jesus said in His own time of loneliness: "Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me." (John 16:32b NIV) As we learn to be satisfied with God, our pain-filled loneliness becomes transformed into peace-filled solitude.

    No bird is so solitary as the eagle. He who will fly as an eagle does, into the higher levels where cloudless day abides, and live in the sunshine of God, must be content to live a lonely life. God seeks eagle-men [and women]. Let us dare to stand alone. (From Streams in the Desert, December 20, L.B. Cowman)

Prayer: Dear Master, as we consider this sacred place of loneliness, we sense an inner battle arising. We thirst for You, yet we are terrified of loneliness, of not mattering to anyone. Train us to enjoy Your presence in the depths of our being, that we may dare to be alone with You. Amen.

About the author:

Diane Eaton <d.eaton@bmts.com>

Paisley, Ontario, Canada


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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Beautifully written and true.


    Thanks for the encouragement Diane. God bless.


    Thanks for sharing this truly uplifting devotional with us. Blessings.


    Thank you Diane for today’s devotional, a very inspiring message. Keep up the good work.


    How very true is your devotional. We fear loneliness, yet as Christians we are really never alone. Thank you for the reminder.


    Thank you for today’s on line study. It spoke deeply to me as I attempt to cope with aging, physical problems and the recent loss of my driver’s license. I will print this study so I can look back to it in times of need.


    God bless you Diane, for today’s devotional about loneliness. I could SO relate … been there, done that and today, feeling that. Your words today were something that I needed reminding of. Thank you for having God use you to encourage me and I’m sure, many others. Your sister in Christ, giving Him all the glory.


    Hi Diane,
    Good words this morning. So many of us are lonely, even when we are surrounded by people. I sense that quite often at the long term care centre, and we even experience it ourselves.
    But God is always with us.
    Thank you for writing


    Good Morning Diane,
    An interesting and wonderfully challenging Devotional. As I read it I was lead in the spirit back to my early Sunday School days, and the song ( hymn? ) Dare to be a Daniel. I will never forget it. Just when loneliness can bring one to the brink of depression, and all of its dangers, one can “dare to be a Daniel” and begin again to walk with God. With God, there is no loneliness!
    When we are “down”, sometimes only God can pull us back up!
    Trust me, for I have been there many times, even today!
    Yours in the service of Jesus and Jehovah.


    Diane, in my morning prayer today, I was asking God for a love for Him as our great saints had. As I prayed while writing in my journal, I also realized that this was the most powerful and dangerous of all prayers.
    Because this prayer comes with a price: loneliness, persecution and more.
    Reading your devotional affirmed my thoughts. I am leaving for a few months to Europe to experience being alone and to make it my friend and companion. I sense as I enter the last leg of my life that I need to do this in order to enter my final walk toward God; as to be totally free in my loneliness.
    In order to be the best daughter, sister, mother, friend and His child, I want, need to have visited that dark corner of my soul and have made it my home with God’s presence in That blackness. I also know that I do not need to go away to do this, but this will be a wonderful experience for me, as God as my companion.
    Thank you.
    God bless you abundantly and I have missed your entries.


    I believe this to be true – and as some commented we are often lonely even when surrounded by others. It is finding that self within that brings real peace and acceptance of things we cannot change.


    Dear Diane,
    Thank you for “the sacred place of loneliness” posted yesterday.
    Jesus went alone up a mountain to pray.
    Did you read the prayer requests for Friday, May 19?
    It appears that God put together your devotional and the prayer of the person feeling like taking her own life. We can pray together for help for this person. I hope she read your devotional.
    I pray that God will prevent this person from harming herself, and give her the help she so desperately needs.


    Thanks Diane.
    (Ghana)


    This is lovely.

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