“I lie awake.
I am like a lonely bird on a housetop.”
Psalm 102:7, NCV
“The first time I defended myself, no one helped me; everyone left me. May they be forgiven.”
2 Timothy 4:16, NCV
The Bible is very sensitive and aware of the difficulties of loneliness. Many in its pages, must deal with the sense of being left alone. It will never be a dunk shot. We will encounter this awful thing before our day is done. To be alone, isolated and separated brings us to a ‘solitary confinement‘ of our heart. That difficult confinement will never be easy.
There can often be an element of appreciation. Many of us would love time to be alone. But to be lonely is another matter. I don’t think we are ready to be truly lonely; perhaps solitude is something desired and craved. But never its stark and pale cousin of loneliness.
Both David and Paul were lonely. David looked around and found nobody that he could be with. He felt like a solitary bird, when all had flown. Paul knew true abandonment. Everyone had left him by himself in a very vulnerable spot. The reality is, we need others. And often, too often, this is withheld from us.
Jesus knew what it was like to be terribly lonely. “You will leave me alone, but I am never really alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16.) I often think He spent all that time in prayer, to somehow connect with His father because of loneliness. It seems He had a deep need to be understood and accepted by someone.
Loneliness can be redeemed. It very often can spur us into a deeper awareness of the Spirit. As a point of bruised weakness, it can (not will) bring us to a sense of His deep love. It will probably not change the situation, but it can change our hearts.
Loneliness is one of our Lord’s favorite tools in restoring our hard hearts. It has a wonderful capacity to do things in us, that none of His other ways would work. It can be the perfect mechanism for Him to deeply touch us. And He will not hesitate to use it.
Often there can be a severe loneliness as we move toward Him. This is an acquired loneliness that comes when we start separating ourselves from the World. Few or any will understand you, or why you are doing this. To follow Jesus, is to become like Him. If He struggled at times with loneliness, so will you.
I have nothing at all to say to those who want to escape this fate. I can say no ‘magic words’ that will lift you out of this pain. I do understand, I really do. All I can tell you is that He is wildly and passionately in love with you. If everyone forsakes you, and leaves you standing alone in a tight spot, He will be there.
“For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5