Religion This Week

By Rodney Tilley, Pastor Van Horn Community Church —

Many times in life we find we are alone, just us, with no one else
around. No one calls, no one writes, and no one drops by for a visit.
Mistakenly we sometimes say that we are lonely when we really mean that
we are just “alone.”

Being alone and being lonely are two
different emotional bonds, with one bringing peace and contentment, and
the other bringing on boredom, depression, anger, and trauma.

in his ministry, “left the house and went off to a solitary place….”or
at other times he “withdrew to a lonely place and prayed.” (Mk. 1, Luke
5) Jesus knew the value of taking time off and just being alone, in
quietness, away from others and the hassles of today.

back, I was reading a book and the author stated, “A person who is
always available is not much worth when he is available.” Even our Lord
left the people on the plain, even when they thought they needed him the
most, and decidedly went off by himself to the mountain to pray. And we
too must pull aside and rest, encourage ourselves, and take time to
reflect and pray. Being alone can be a great time of healing and

But as a pastor, many times people call me needing help
from loneliness and needing encouragement, and I must admit that on
various occasions, I act as if I am the answer to their problem. I will
be friendly and give my best smile. At church I will add another
activity to the church, just to keep everyone busy. I will also try and
act as if I can alleviate their anxiety, but I found that I cannot.

was Jesus who said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” It was
not your children, nor your spouse, neither was it your friend, for it
was only Jesus. If you ask him he will be there, leaving you neither
lonely nor alone. If will be those special times when others think you
are by yourself and feel that they must entertain you, not realizing you
are just basking in the presence of the Lord. In fact, it will be at
those times when you wish others would just “leave you alone.” Alone but
not lonely.


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