Lesson 177 - WHEN YOU WALK THAT LONELY ROAD (PART 1)
By Frank Eiklor and the Shalom Team
It was a picture that broke my heart. An elderly woman had committed suicide by hanging. The body had not yet been cut down. Still another person used a gun to take his life. Laying nearby was a note saying, “I feel so all alone.” Loneliness is an international disease. From America to Argentina to Austria—from Zaire to Zambia to Zimbabwe—people from every nation suffer from terrible loneliness.
Our Own Lonely Road
All of us have battled loneliness at one time or another. I remember when my wife Norma and I went to New England in 1979. The first year was perhaps the loneliest year of our lives. At the beginning of that first year, when two of our team members were killed in a horrible automobile accident and the other terribly injured, we were enveloped in darkness and loneliness. Of five of us that had come east with a dream, we were now alone.
However, I’ll never forget what happened. We suddenly experienced the warmth of an unseen Friend who seemed to take our hands and whisper, “It is I…Be not afraid. Only believe.” We discovered the warmth of Jesus in a cold hour of testing. He became our answer to loneliness—even though we still felt humanly alone. Scriptures that had usually only been “words” now exploded with living power, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” (Hebrews 13:5). “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,” (Matthew 28:20). “I will not leave you comfortless (like orphans): I will come to you,” (John 14:18).
In what seemed to be our greatest loneliness, we found Jesus a close companion—lovingly watching over us and giving us His grace to handle every test. It’s when we were so lonely, that we realized how many other hurting, lonely people were living all around us. As God comforted us, we found ourselves reaching out with a new understanding of the loneliness of others.
Our loneliness was only temporary. But for many people, loneliness eats like a cancer. So many things can leave terrible loneliness. The death of a mate or other loved one. The heartache of divorce. Learning one has an incurable disease.
Senior citizens often feel alone—and forgotten. Parents become very lonely when their children grow up and the home is filled with emptiness. Teens experience great loneliness and some tragically commit suicide. It’s possible to be surrounded by people in a home, on a job, or in a city and still feel alone.
IN PART 2—WHY DOES GOD ALLOW LONELINESS?
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (I Corinthians 11:1)
The ST. PAUL SCHOOL, with Frank Eiklor, Eileen Young and Cecilia Contreras