Psalm 142 “I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.”
David wrote Psalm 142 when he was sitting in a cave. He had to flee for his life, leave his family, and hide in caves off and on for seven years. Why? What had he done wrong? Nothing, yet he was being chased by the king. His name had been turned into a curse word in Israel. I’m sure he missed his family, his parents, brothers, wife, and possibly children. He had lived a clean, godly life. He had been anointed by Samuel to be a future king. He knew God’s will for his life—he thought. He had killed Goliath and had been a mighty soldier for Israel. But all that had changed, and there he was, in a cave, all alone. How confused he must have been!
This was God’s will for David at the time. There is no doubt about it, the Lord separates His children at times and causes them to be alone. These examples abound in Scripture: Noah, Abraham, Job, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Daniel, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Jesus, to name just a few. He draws his children apart at certain seasons of life.
Some people enjoy being alone more than others. When my children and I arrive home from school each day, my oldest son will change his clothes and go out in our yard to walk around and think (and daydream). We have three acres of grass and woods, and he wanders all over, lost in his own world. My middle son is a different story! In fact, this morning is a typical example. I got up early for some quiet time to think and to write this article. My son, who needs less sleep than the rest of the family, heard me getting coffee in the kitchen, and came out to sit on the sofa. Every few minutes he says, “I wish my brothers would wake up.” And, “May I go wake up my brothers?” Ummm, “No, you may not.” To him, being alone is horrible. He is a people-person.
No matter how much we may enjoy our time alone each day, none of us enjoy being lonely. Yet, in this life we will all experience times of loneliness. These times may be unexplainable. They may last a day or two; they may last months, or longer.
Has this ever happened to you? You may have a bad day, or go through a tough time, and you just want to talk it over with a friend. You call your friend—no answer. So, you think of another friend—no answer. You call another friend or relative—they are busy. After a few more tries, you think, “What’s going on?” You may even call on a counselor or your pastor, and—no answer. On the day you especially need a friend, no one is there for you. Everyone is busy living their own life. Has this ever happened to you? I think we’ve all faced these days or times in life.
The fact is, your friends and family love you, and they want to be there for you. It is not a coincidence that you cannot connect with anyone. God is doing this. He is blocking your connection from every person because He wants you to turn to HIM. He wants to teach you to rely on HIM. He wants to be the first one you run to; He needs to break your dependence on others, for a time, so that you will lean on Him alone.
In times of loneliness, remember these things:
- Recognize God in these times. He is setting you apart for awhile. He wants your attention. Run to Him. Learn of Him. Pour out your heart to Him. Spend extra time in His Word.
- You are not being punished. Sometimes the Devil “talks in our ear” when we are alone, and tell us that God is punishing us for wrong doing by isolating us. This is simply not true. Keep your trust in God. Seek to discover a new, deeper relationship with Him. This time can be a sweet time with the Lord.
- Do not over-think this or make it all about you. These alone times can end in many dark, depressing thoughts that can mount up in our minds. We can think crazy thoughts that we normally would not think. We must get the help of the Holy Spirit to continue to have right thoughts. Chances are that your family and friends and neighbors and co-workers are NOT in a big conspiracy together to ruin your life. But unreasonable thoughts can come. You will need big doses of Scripture to keep right thinking.
- Nothing lasts forever. David did come out of the cave. He did become king of Israel and rule from a palace for many years. He did leave a legacy as the greatest king that ever lived in Israel. There is an end. You will return to the land of the living.
If you are experience a time of loneliness, know that God is there with you. He is for you. He loves you. He wants to help you through this time. Seek His face. You will make it through this. Know that the Lord is in this. He wants you to Himself right now. Revel in being loved by a Jealous God Who does not want to share you with anyone for a little while, but wants to draw you away, for a time, to be with Him—alone.