Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Even the sound of this word creates an unmistakable twinge in the pit of my stomach. It is a feeling I have felt many times over the years and one that we all have to deal with from time to time. As a child the feeling would sometimes come over me when I visited the ocean or a large lake. Looking out over the wide expanse my eye would catch a colorful buoy bobbing up and down in the water. Though I knew it was an inanimate object, something about it looked so small and lonesome bouncing around in an unforgiving sea.
Loneliness does not occur only when you are completely alone. It can happen even when surrounded by crowds of people. It can rear its ugly head in the midst of a marriage, a family, or a church. The need to be noticed, accepted, and loved is built into each human. Without these things we become like a buoy bobbing around in the world, doing our job but feeling very isolated.
Lonely times are not always bad
Often isolation causes the sufferer to reach out beyond their comfort zone to God and others. People may not always respond to our cries for help, but God longs to fill the void with a meaningful relationship that we were born wanting and needing.
My seventh grade year started a chain of lonely experiences. I had recently switched schools and I was forced to try to find connections in places where I was a newcomer. This was not easy for an introvert, and often I felt very alone. But it was during those times that I began to develop a deep friendship with my heavenly Father. Regularly, in the midst of my discomfort and loneliness, I found myself having conversations with the One who heard my every word and saw me in the midst of the unfamiliar crowd. The Lord became my greatest confidant, comforter, and encourager as I bobbed my way along in each new ocean I entered.
Each of you will also live through times of loneliness. You may be physically alone or, though surrounded by lot of people, feel that you don’t belong or are misunderstood. Take heart, you have a friend who sticks closer than a brother. He promises to always be with you. He hears your cries. He understands your heart. And He knows your need for companionship because He made you with that desire.
You are never truly alone
Use times of solitude to reach out to Him and you will find He is very near. He will strengthen you. He will help you. He will uphold you with His mighty right hand. And in time, as you push past your comfort zone and extend yourself to others He will enrich you with other meaningful relationships that will satisfy and bless you. Life’s ocean may always be vast and foreboding, but unlike a lonesome buoy, with God as your Father you are never truly alone.