When I think of the word “lonely” I think of not having anyone around, a state of quietness, or deserted. So, what happens if that is not how life is and there are people around who love and care for you, yet the feeling of loneliness remains inside? What is there to do about this deep feeling of being alone?
For the past few weeks, since I have been at school, I have felt like this so much! I believe that my homesickness and frustration in being at school has increased much more this year than my first year here at school, when I was new and had no one I knew. At school I am five hours away from my home and family, so there is no just dropping everything and running home. I have to wait it out for certain weekends, or plan much in advance to get to my family and loved ones.
Well, I looked up the meaning for the word lonely and I was given generic descriptions such as: (without companions, solitary) and for a place (unfrequented and remote). I found the definitions of this word to be bare and hopeless. So as I turn to the bible to look up some encouragement apart from the desolate word, I discovered that David, the writer of Psalms felt just as I do right now. Psalms 25:16 says, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” I read those words and prayed an imitative prayer to God, but I think to myself, “how did David, a man after God’s own heart, get to a place of loneliness and torment?” I scrolled up to the beginning of chapter 25 and read verses 1 and 2 which say, “In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.” How can this be the same chapter that I am reading? In verse 1 David is putting his trust in God and believing in the Lord to not let anything harm him. Reading down David asks God to show him the ways of the Lord, to guide him, and to teach him, while all of David’s hope is in God.
As I try and imagine how David can be so lonely, as shown in vv.16, when he is so close to God; I find a footnote in my NIV study Bible, which says that David was the target of his enemy’s words. In a sense, David was mostly dealing with spiritual warfare to not let his spirit take in all the nastiness that was being said to him.
I find it so encouraging that David has gone through this situation, because in our world today there are so many “bullies” that come against us. Satan tries to tell us “you are all alone” or “you are worthless”, but through this cry of David we continue down to see that in verses 19-21 David says to God, “See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me! Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May my integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.” David is completely trusting in God! David knows that God is holding him through the hard times no matter what, because David does not let anything askew his faith, trust, and hope in God!
As I feel hopeless and lonely in my dorm room praying the same prayer as David did; I am encouraged to know that I am not alone! God is with me, and I know that He is holding on to me because I remain faithful to Him. Loneliness is not supposed to be a lesson of selfishness, but a lesson of giving. Give yourself to God today and let Him use you in this trial season of your life. Choose not to let your heart be troubled but to speak in faith as David has shown us how to do.
A few more encouragement verses to look up are:
- Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
- 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in your midst?”
- Psalms 119:116 “Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.”
- Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
- 2 Thessalonians 2:16 “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,”
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”