Friday, 7 Aug 2020
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.
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.