One of the toughest things for a college student to overcome is loneliness. They are in a new environment, perhaps away from home for the first extended period of time, and so many experiences are totally new. It can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get isolated because no one knows who we are. Being in a new area we might rather wait it out until we can make it back home to familiar surroundings. It’s difficult to establish “safe” places to meet friends, share concerns, doubts, or heartaches.We all struggle but it often feels like we are the only ones going through these issues.
One reason we have the capacity to feel lonely is because God made us to need other people. In other words, we don’t like to live alone because we weren’t made to live alone. The Bible teaches that, even when Adam was living in paradise (a perfect setting with no problems, no stress, no sin, and no one creating heartaches for others) God could see that it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone (Genesis 2:18).
God doesn’t want us to be lonely, and that’s why he offers us several ways to overcome the pain of loneliness while we are spending time of this planet:
God gives us a plan for life: You may feel nobody knows the depth of your loneliness, but God says this: “I made you. I put you on this earth for a purpose, and I created you. I care about you. I love you, and I have a plan for you and your future.” When you focus on God’s plan for your life, you don’t have a lot of time to feel lonely.
God gives us people in our lives: If you’re like many college students, you have plenty of acquaintances, but what you may not have are close friends. I’m talking about friends who really know you and walk beside you when you go through the inevitable crises of life. Enter, the church.
The church is the family of God, and one of its purposes is to provide us with the opportunity to develop real relationships. I’m not talking about ‘acquaintances’, but deep, close friends who will think about you and pray for you daily. If you don’t have a small group you meet with every week, take the initiative and get involved with a group where you can establish true, transparent, trusted friendships.
God gives us his presence: God created each of us to have an intimate, personal, and close relationship with him. As you go through life, this is our primary goal. Out of the overflow, we serve others in Jesus’ name. No person, no experience, no drug, no success, no possession, no fortune, no relationship, nor any fame or ideal job is going to fill that aching hole in your heart that God created for himself.
This means the most amazing remedy to loneliness is God’s presence.
I used to send missionaries all over the world, and in places like some cities in China, you can be surrounded by a million people and feel completely alone. Your college campus is no exception. We know that God is everywhere and there is no place on Earth where God is not. Knowing that can relieve you loneliness. When you understand that God is with you all the time, you can call on his help to conquer the loneliness in your life.
So, remember that God is right here with you. Jesus says, “I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 MSG).