Lonely or Alone – There Is A Big Difference

Here I am again in this mean old town
And you’re so far away from me
And where are you when the sun goes down
You’re so far away from me

So far away from me
So far I just can’t see
So far away from me
You’re so far away from me

–Dire Straits

Have you ever felt lonely? Not just a fleetingĀ  sense of being alone, maybe on a trip. But really lonely. The kind you feel in your gut. The kind that just settles into your bones like a cold drizzle in the late fall.

I imagine that it is a rare human who has never felt that. But it could just be me.

David put it in a Psalm (22)–kind of a prayer wrapped in a song. Jesus quoted this song just before he died.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest.

It doesn’t have to end there. I’ve been reading lately in some books on personal psychology. Studies are showing that you need to somehow, slowly begin to make decisions. Decide to go out, for example. Talk to the local barista. Someone.

David didn’t end with that deep feeling. He remembered what God had set before him. The promises that God would fulfill if David kept his end. He wrote later (23)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.

We sense the presence of God. We release the feelings of loneliness.

Paradoxically, we sense the presence of God often by being alone. Remember how Jesus often withdrew from the group to go off to a lonely spot to be alone with his Father? When we go off to be alone with the Father in prayer or meditation, it actually works to bring us out of that shell of loneliness. We can also then go out and meet people.

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