Friday, 7 Aug 2020
Loneliness
Prathab V

Psalm 73:25-28
25 Who do I have in heaven but You?
And I desire nothing on earth but You.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength[i] of my heart,
my portion forever.
27 Those far from You will certainly perish;
You destroy all who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, God’s presence is my good.
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
so I can tell about all You do.

As the car drove past the corner, I knew I would only be able to see my wife and daughters intermittently for the next 5 years. That was the day my wife and daughters left our cosy little nest in Kuala Lumpur, heading towards Kampar in Perak.

My wife decided to take up a job offer in an international school, and my daughters also get to study there. Moreover, my wife’s family are also in Kampar, so they get to be closer. Going to Kampar was also difficult for my wife. But she also wanted to be close to her dad, whose health was then failing rapidly.

I initially resisted the prospect of them going to Kampar. I did not want the family to be split up geographically. Besides, the thought of being far from my family then was just too hard to bear.

I eventually relented. I agreed that maybe it is time that my daughters attended formal schooling (my wife and I had been homeschooling our kids for four years).

As my family left Kuala Lumpur, a terrible loneliness crept over me. Fear overwhelmed me. I did not want to be alone in the house at night. I also developed insomnia and had trouble sleeping. I hated coming back home after work as the home became a symbol of my loneliness.

Though my many prayers and cries went unanswered, I learned a great deal about depending on God. Loneliness can be a terrible thing. It can take you into a deep pit of depression. I know, I had been there.

Nowadays, when someone tells me they are lonely, I do not belittle them. People do not plan to be lonely. Unfortunately, some look to alcohol or women for company during times of loneliness.

Men are by nature, social beings. We need a community. When God created Eve, it was mainly to relieve Adam of loneliness (Gen 2:18).

In times of loneliness, the psalms encourage me. Psalm 73:25-28 is especially comforting. When my heart and my flesh fail me, God becomes my strength (v26). When the going gets tough, our experiences help us to trust Him more. God’s presence is always there and he Himself is our refuge (v28).

Loneliness affects our spiritual and physical health. Those who have lost their spouses, those who are single or those who are in their senior years, may find it hard to cope with loneliness. Even then, some may find it lonely in a crowd when one is not able to relate to others around them.

This morning, if you are struggling with loneliness and there is no one to hear your pain and anguish, read Ps 73 and be comforted. Even if answers to your prayers are not in sight, continue to hold on to Him. Do not give up, because He never gives up on you.

Prayer:

Lord, you know my heart and my thoughts. When I am lonely, speak to me, Lord. Show me how to cling to You only for hope. Show me what to do. I want to be immersed in Your presence Lord. Teach me. In Jesus’ name, I ask. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期五, 2020年8月7日
标题:孤独
作者:帕拉他伯(Prathab V.)
翻译:巫惠如姐妹

诗篇73:25-28
25 除你以外,在天上我有谁呢?除你以外,在地上我也没有所爱慕的。
26 我的肉体和我的心肠衰残,但神是我心里的力量,又是我的福分,直到永远。
27 远离你的必要死亡,凡离弃你行邪淫的你都灭绝了。
28 但我亲近神是与我有益!我以主耶和华为我的避难所,好叫我述说你一切的作为。

当车子开过转角,我知道我只能在接下来的5年里断断续续地看到妻子和女儿。那天,我的妻子和女儿们离开了我们在吉隆坡的安乐窝,前往霹雳州的金宝。

我妻子决定在一所国际学校工作,我的女儿们也到那里学习。而且,我妻子的家人也在金宝,所以离他们也比较近。在金宝定居对我妻子来说也很困难。但她也想多亲近父亲,因为他的健康每况愈下。

我原本拒绝他们去金宝的可能性。我不想让家人分隔两地。再说,想到要与家人分开,实在是感到不舍。

我最终让步了。我同意,也许我的女儿们该上学了(孩子们已四年在家自学)。

当家人离开吉隆坡时,一股可怕的孤独感油然而生。恐惧压垮了我。我晚上不想一个人在家里。我还患了失眠症,睡不着觉。我讨厌下班回家,因为家象征孤独。

尽管我的许多祈祷和哀哭都没有得到回应,但我学到许多关于依靠上帝的事。孤独有时候真的很可怕。它会把你卷入深深的抑郁之中。我知道,我是过来人啊。

如今,当有人告诉我他们很孤独时,我不会轻视他们。人不会打算要孤独。不幸的是,有些人在孤独时会借酒消愁或找女人作伴。

人天生社会性。我们需要一个社区。上帝创作夏娃,主要是为了缓解亚当的孤独感(参创世纪2:18)。

在我孤独的时期,诗篇鼓励我。诗篇73:25-28尤其令人感到欣慰。当我的肉体和我的心肠衰残,上帝就成为我的力量(26节)。 当事情变得艰难,我们的经历使我们更信靠他。上帝常与我们同在,他是我们的避难所(28节)。

孤独会影响我们的精神和身体健康。那些失去配偶、单身或是年长的人,可能很难应对孤独。当一个人无法体恤或理解身旁的人,这也会使他在人群中感到孤独。

今天早上,如果你正在孤独中苦苦挣扎,没有人能听到你的痛苦,请阅读诗篇73,从中获得安慰。就算祷告没有立即蒙应允,也要继续祷告。别放弃,因为上帝从不放弃你。

祷告: 主啊,你知道我的心思意念。当我寂寞的时候,请你与我说话。教我抓住你所赐的盼望。指教我。我要住在你里面。教导我。奉耶稣的名祷告。阿门。

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