home > Pastor’s Desk > 2016 > June 3rd > Lonely Friends


Loneliness does not discriminate. It blights the popular and the outcast alike. It makes some great. But it also has made the great break. In this life, you will be lonely. Lennon and McCartney wrote a best-selling pop song in 1966 that had the haunting chorus – 

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Nearly all the depictions of lonely by artists has someone on their own. But for anyone who carries the cross of the loneliness, we know that’s not always true. Loneliness has little to do with how many people we are near. 


Dr. FW. Boreham, 1921If greatness is measured by the sheer numbers of people a person helps and bears responsibility for, the greater a person becomes, the more lonely they will necessarily be. I think God has designed this. Great leaders are almost without exception: lonely. In doing my research on one of humanity’s greatest souls, Dr. F.W. Boreham, I came to one poignant auto-biographical comment that he made about his life. “I have always been a lonely man” he wrote. This is despite enjoying a long lasting marriage of over 62 years, five children, lovingly pastoring three churches over his career, and developing friendships with hundreds of fellow ministers around the world. Yet, he would say that he had always been a lonely man. His loneliness drove him to serve others and apply his God-given gifts to their service. It seems that this is true of all great souls. Their loneliness could have broken them to despair. But somehow, in the mercy of God, they find that what they lack from people they learn to receive from being in friendship with God. It may surprise an emerging leader that despite having more contact with others, despite having more people being more transparent with them, despite having a few peers show them careful attention, they are increasingly lonely. Jesus certainly was.

Toward the end of Christ’s atoning mission, He celebrated His last Passover with His disciples in that upper room. Despite being in a room with twelve other men, He was virtually alone. Despite His actual presence filling the whole earth, He was largely unnoticed that night. While the disciples waged a vigorous verbal joust over who was the greatest, the loneliest person in that room took his tunic off, as any slave would seeking to avoid the stains of feet grime, and began to wash the soiled feet of wrangling apostles. By the time He had washed the feet of 11 of them, He had not been noticed. This is a hallmark of loneliness – going unnoticed.

Katy PerryLonely people aren’t seen. We can look at them, and still not see them. I wonder if God wants leaders to experience a measure of loneliness so that they can see others? This is why I think God has designed loneliness as a necessary part of His children’s growth. It causes them to grow in love for others. It’s hard to miss how many times the Gospels describe Jesus seeing the crowds and having compassion for them. How many people look at celebrities who enjoy the applause, popularity, accolades of adoring fans, yet fail to see them as desperately empty and lonely? By her own frank admission, Katy Perry is one such celebrity. In a recent behind the scenes movie about her life, we saw what few ever saw: a worn-out, desperately lonely girl, craving to be understood and loved. The problem is that I think there are thousands of Katy Perrys in this world!


I posted on Facebook this week a small reflection of Psalm 25:1-22 where King David begins a series of Psalms about his own loneliness.

Facebook post about Psalm 25

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Psalm 25:16

Psalm 25 reveals how David felt and then how this deepened his relationship with God. The next few Psalms pick up on this as well as David describes how he felt neglected by others, including his parents, yet how this caused him to seek God and find friendship – the antidote to loneliness – with God.

Who is the man who fears the LORD?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Psalm 25:12-15

Begin to redeem your loneliness today. Look to God. Begin to see others. Avail yourself to God and He will make you great as you begin to serve others. Then an eternal day will come when you will never experience loneliness again and will find your soul enjoying its greatest delights in a friendship you were created for.

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
John 15:15

Perhaps the local church is God’s means of alleviating loneliness? It is here that the lonely can find a family of brothers and sisters and even mothers and fathers. But sometimes those who should be this to the lonely are too distracted by their own loneliness to see the horribly lonely. I know at times I have been. Perhaps we can each deepen our friendship with God so that we can introduce these lonely souls to their True Friend.

God places the lonely in families;
he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
Psalm 68:6


Your Pastor,


Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


home > Pastor's Desk > 2024 > April 12th > THIS IS HOW AN EXPERT SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT SPIRITUAL WARSThe distance between the spiritual dimension and our earthly-material dimension is a lot thinner than most people realise! This means that there is a direct...


So many thriller movies are just funny. Of course they are not meant to be and many people would find them more like nightmare material. The producers would be horrified to see me giggling at some of their ‘scary’ bits, but it’s just the way I’m wired. I see more of the special effects than the story line and I see the absurdity of the scenes that lack the necessary rules of consistency instead of the fear factor they hope. I once watched a movie where the victim lay dead bleeding from the mouth but the make-up blood had not dripped to the ground with gravity, but rather, accidentally dripped up. The whole movie just became hilarious from that point on.


home > Pastor's Desk > 2024 > 30th March > THE NOTHING OF EASTER SATURDAY‘Nothing’ is often something. How many times has God been accused of “doing nothing”? Even Christ’s disciples seemed to accuse Jesus of this when He was asleep in the boat in the...


home > Pastor's Desk > 2024 > March 22ndr > He was a kind and charitable man.WHO WAS KENNETH TYNAN? You’ve probably never heard of Kenneth Tynan. I hadn’t. I was introduced to him while conducting some research for my current PhD program on C.S. Lewis. In...


The first time I heard the song “From Little Things, Big Things Grow” was in early 2008. I was trying to get my head around superannuation funds. I never knew of its writers – Paul Kelly and Carmody. Neither did I know it was originally a protest song. In my opinion, the original lyrics and melody bears no semblance to what we may consider protest today. Many will agree with me that it is now synonymous with Industry Super Funds. But its principles remain true in nearly every aspect of life.


For several reasons I am qualified to help people deal with acute and chronic pain. Some acute and chronic pain can be resolved medically. Some pains can go a long way to being resolved with the help of a psychologist. Some pains can be resolved with a hug from mum. But there is a pain that a doctor cannot cure, a psychologist cannot counsel, a mother’s hug cannot alleviate. It is a pain that goes deep – beyond the defences of our integumentary system, our neurological system (including our para-sympathetic nervous system), our muscular system, our skeletal system, our lymphatic system, our renal system, gastro-intestinal system, our respiratory system, our cardio-vascular system, our hormonal system, and our half-share of a reproductive system. It is a pain that wounds: our memory, our sense of self, our estimation of our worth, our confidence, and our ability to connect meaningfully with others (our ability to love and be loved). It is the pain of rejection. It not only effects who we are (our identity) but it also leaches symptomatically into each of these ten-and-a-half biological systems which every human being possesses. I am going to offer all those who have experienced the pain of rejection how they can be healed from its wound, and actually become stronger, wiser, more confident, as a result.


I’ve accidentally found myself enrolled in a Ph.D. program. I kind of blame Associate Professor Stuart Piggin for this. A few years ago I was having some serious discussions with him about doing a Ph.D. in Historical Theology at Macquarie University focusing on the contribution of Dr. F.W. Boreham. But I found myself unable at that time to proceed. In my discussions with him about my health prognosis and what I wanted to be able to do in the remaining time that I have left, he suggested focusing instead on Philosophical-Theology and enquiring with Monash University. I took his sage advice and did as he said. This week, I formally commenced with Monash as a part-time extension (distance) student. The result is that after my first zoom meeting with my supervisor I am now having to delve into an arena that requires me to be able to convince a critical secular audience that my proposal about the Bible’s truth claims are reasonable. Oddly, in order to do this, I have to explain in some depth what C.S. Lewis meant by the word, myth. And to do this I have to draw even deeper on the writings of a now dead French philosopher who is regarded as the greatest exponent of what a myth is! Therefore, I am going to tell you something quite shocking. It might be advisable for you to go and get a strong cup of tea, then return to this screen, and read on while sipping your tea, to absorb some of what I am going to tell you. 


We all walk a path in life that is set before us. We start with very little experience and knowledge about the purpose of our life and the world beyond us. All of humanity experiences joy, wisdom, strength, weakness, suffering and hardship, especially those who are “contending for the faith”. Knowing Jesus is a very special part of this life journey.


We can be reasonably certain about many things. In fact, without this certainty about life, none of us could function. We can be certain that tonight the sun will ‘set’. Tomorrow the sun will ‘rise’. After the February 28th it will be February 29th. This year there will be international unrest and much political instability in many parts of the world. In the coming months global warming will be identified by politicians as the source of floods and wildfires. Several high profile international celebrities will die this year. Archaeologists will make a discovery that will require some aspects of history to be rewritten. And you will certainly have one of the most memorable moments in your life in the coming days. You see, there are clearly some things we can be quite certain about. However, there are some aspects about our future that we cannot be certain about, yet in those moments we can be certain about what we should do.


Turn on any TV or radio news lately and there’s bound to be a story about the current “cost of living crisis”. We all feel it. Initially most people accepted the widespread price-rises were caused by 2020-21 pandemic lockdowns. But whatever the reasons for the rapid price hikes over the past two years, every time we go to the supermarket we feel it again. While governments are striving to curb the impact of this cost of living crisis, there remains a way to enjoy low cost living. The key to this is recognising that the most valuable things in life are literally priceless. The path to enjoying low-cost living is to be found in Christ, and what He taught — and it begins with treasure.