Adam and Eve were not lonely. They knew God was there. The one who loved, cared for and created them was in their midst. They also knew they had each other, the best of human relationships. Then sin entered the world and so did a host of questions and experiences to follow. Where is God? Does he know me? Does he love me? Why do I feel so alone? Does he care?
David expresses this experience in Psalm 142:4 when he says, “Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul.”
David was not convinced anyone was truly aware of him. At least not in any meaningful way.
We all know this feeling too well.
You can feel alone anywhere. Surrounded by people at a work party, at family Christmas gatherings, in marriage, at church, as you wait for the bus, when you wake up in the morning, even more so when you go to bed, or at a sporting event, on vacation with your family, as you drive in your car. Loneliness or feeling alone is just part of the human experience.
God wrote a whole book about Himself to remind us that He is with us. He is passionate about wanting us to know this truth. It seems that some version of “Do not fear, I am with you” is on repeat in scripture.
We see God reminding Joshua of this comforting truth on multiple occasions as he is preparing to succeed Moses as Israel’s leader. First in Deuteronomy 31:8:
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (italics mine) He then reminds him of this three more times in the first chapter of Joshua. Clearly, God's heart is for his children to know He is with them.
We are great at looking for comfort in good things but not the best things. Having more good friends who know you and love you is a real blessing. This will help with loneliness - but even this can go sideways as expectations get out of control. Getting a dog can be an avenue of God’s grace for friendship and companionship but this will also fall short. Finding some new hobbies will be enjoyable, and may get you out of the house more but will not truly satisfy.
Where should we go? We must cry out to God! Listen to David as we return to Psalm 142:1-2, “With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice, I plead for mercy to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.”
David is crying out to know one thing...that he is not alone! As David is honest with God about his life, something changes in his heart in verse 5, “I cry to you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living’.” Something happens in the crying out that builds faith and confidence in God’s presence and care. Start there.