Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

Psalm 25: 16

So empty that a tear drop bouncing off your cheek causes a lingering echo in your heart; your eyes see an almost endless horizon that is icy and chilled beyond warming. There is no comfort to be had for there are no comforters around. This is loneliness. This is also a truly dangerous state of being for people. This is a state of being that leaves us open to the sort of enticement that Satan leaves around in the hopes that we will think it attractive and pick it up; it is also the sort of mental and emotional condition that leads to dwelling on our own inadequacies and failings. Yet, loneliness is not wrong; it is not defiance of God’s plan and order for our lives; it is a stage in life that is natural and valuable. It would seem that Jesus felt a supreme form of loneliness, of separation from the Father and from all of His earthly friends as He was praying in the garden and especially on the cross. Loneliness can lead to growth and to strength if we do what Jesus did and what David is doing in this Psalm. 

David reveals the depth of his pain to God; He doesn’t try to cover it up or to gloss over the way that He feels with a happy face; for, he is real with God; so is Jesus in these same deeply troubling times of isolation and pain. The point is not to convince God that we need Him, for He knows that so much better than we can ever understand; rather, the point is to convince ourselves that the solution to our emptiness is found in the Lord. When loneliness strikes, it is the time to focus on God; when the resoundingly hollow sound is filling our chests, Christ’s love can fill us with joy. 

The answer to lonely times is found in prayer and meditation on what God is saying in response; it is found in reading his Word and in consideration of it’s meaning; and it is found in the people that are the living Body of Christ and in seeking their company. God wants us to open our hearts to him so that we can understand the issue that we are dealing with; He wants us to hear His words of encouragement, love, and direction; and he wants us to take action in response to those words. This is a basic truth, in Christ, we are never alone.