And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. —Matthew 28:20
There are varieties of loneliness. For example, there is the loneliness of solitude—being alone without companions. You live alone. You eat alone. You watch television alone. You spend Christmas alone.
Then there is loneliness of singleness. I think the hardest question I am asked is why does God allow evil—to which I just reply, “I don’t know!” The next hardest question I am asked is, “RT, why can’t I find a wife?” “Why can’t I find a husband?” “Why can’t I find a girlfriend or boyfriend?” My heart goes out to such people.
I grant that there are a lot of people who are single and very happy; they don’t want it any other way. But many would like to be married—they are so lonely. But there is something worse than being single, and that’s being married—but unhappily. Part of the loneliness of singleness is sexual frustration. Sex is a God-given desire. Sex was not born in Hollywood but at the throne of grace. There is a physical need for sexual fulfillment. Loneliness only adds to this, and my heart goes out to the many who suffer in this way.
Jesus is at the right hand of God. When He was on earth He was tempted at all points, just as we are (Heb. 4:15), but I have to say that He resisted. But it is comforting to know that Jesus has never forgotten what it was like then. He therefore sympathizes now. The difference between Jesus and some of us is that once we come out of something, we forget what it was like. Jesus has never forgotten what it was like.
Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).