You are with me. Psalm 23:4
Have you ever considered paying more for a service in order to deal with another person rather than deal with a machine and see no one? Could anyone be that lonely? It seems David was at times. Some of his Psalms have the feelings of a lone tree on a winter prairie in North Dakota. He wrote:
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Psalm 25:16 and Yahweh, how long are you going to stand there doing nothing? Psalm 33: 13-17
David knew loneliness, and I’m sure most of us have, too. You don’t have to be alone to be lonely. Two thousand years ago 250 million people were on earth, now there are more than 5 billion. If loneliness could be cured by the presence of people there would be less loneliness today. Yet, loneliness lingers.
Loneliness doesn’t come from being alone, it comes from feeling alone. Feelings as if you’re facing the world, or the future alone. The feeling may strike you in your bed late at night or in the silence of an empty house. Bags of loneliness show up everywhere.
They litter the boardrooms and clubs. We drag them to parties and usually drag them back out. They’re near the desk of a co-worker and beside the table of the overeater. And we’ll try anything to unload our loneliness. This is one bag we want to drop quickly.
But should we? Rather than drop our loneliness, what if we embraced it? Could it be that loneliness is not a curse, but a gift from God? Perhaps a way of getting our attention?
Sometimes, when we have no other options and nowhere to go we take the time to listen. God wants us to hear His voice. One by one He might remove all your options until He is all you have left. He wants you to discover what David discovered and be able to say, “You are with me.”
Yes Lord, you are in Heaven, but you are also with me. When we know the Lord is near, everything is different. Whatever you are facing, you aren’t facing it alone! You may be facing unemployment, but you aren’t facing that alone. The Lord will provide. You may be facing relationship problems, but you aren’t facing them alone. Your family may turn against you, but God won’t. Your ‘friends’ may betray you, but God won’t. When you know that God loves you, you won’t feel emotionally needy.
It’s hard because it’s our nature to fear facing life alone. We have fear of going unnoticed or of not being loved and looking for it in all the wrong places. But that all changes when we discover that we were never alone to begin with. He was with us all along.
Learn to see loneliness as one of God’s gifts, His way of teaching you to hear His voice. In this way we can face a season of solitude with grateful hearts.