Loneliness -- that painful feeling that you're isolated from others who care about you -- is common among people from all different backgrounds. If you're lonely, you may think of loneliness as a burden because of the pain it can cause. But loneliness can actually become a valuable gift in your life. Just as physical pain signals that something needs attention in your body when you injure yourself, the emotional pain of loneliness makes you aware of your need to pursue relationships.
When you respond to that awareness by pursuing the ultimate relationship -- a relationship with God -- you can open the God-given gift of loneliness to discover God's loving presence with you in new ways. And since God often sends angels (his messengers) on missions of love to people, God may send angels into your life when you let your loneliness motivate you seek deeper spiritual relationships.
Here are five ways that you can let loneliness lead you closer to God and the angels:
- Remind yourself that God and the angels are always with you. Many religious texts promise that God and guardian angels will always be present with you. However, God and angels are usually invisible to your physical eyes, so it's easy to forget that they are nearby. It can be helpful to imagine all that is happening in the physical air around you that you can't see but that science has shown is still surrounding you, such as cell phone, radio, and television broadcasting signals; ultraviolet and infrared light, wind, and microwave energy. Just as all of that is going on invisibly around you, the spiritual world is also invisibly present and active around you.
- Decide to pursue deeper faith whenever lonely feelings hit you. Rather than responding in unhealthy ways to the loneliness you feel (such as drinking alcohol or overeating to try to numb those feelings, or ignoring the feelings until they deceive you into thinking that no one cares about you), train yourself to respond to lonely feelings by doing something active to pursue a closer relationship with God and the angels (such as reading sacred scripture, participating in a worship service, or praying).
- Communicate with God and the angels frequently throughout each day. Prayer is the main way that you can communicate with God and angels, and you can pray at any time in any situation. So don't reserve your prayers for limited times, like before meals or while you're at your place of worship. Pray as often as possible. God and the angels are always ready to listen to you, so why not talk with them anytime? After connecting frequently with God and the angels in prayer, you'll experience more of their love, which will motivate you to pray even more. Just like you look forward to spending time with close friends, you'll start to look forward to spending time with God and the angels in prayer whenever possible.
- Pray about all topics that concern you. God already knows everything that you're thinking and feeling before you even express it in prayer to him, and he loves you anyway. The angels love you unconditionally, as well. So don't consider any topic off-limits when you're praying. Be completely open and honest about your lonely feelings, relationship problems with other people, and other concerns. Doing so will invite God and the angels to bring healing into your life. Expect God and the angels to care about the difficult issues you're facing, and to act to help you after you pray.
- Listen to God and the angels as well as talking to them. It's easy to develop the habit of using your prayer times to simply talk to God and the angels, especially when you have a lot to say to them. But remember that God and angels have a lot to say to you, as well. Even though you usually can't hear God or angels speak in physically audible voices, you can sometimes hear them speak through the thoughts that enter your mind after you ask them questions in prayer. So listen carefully. Once you recognize their voices, you'll know that your loneliness has led you where it has been designed to lead you: closer to God and his messengers of love: the angels.