Summary: Feel Alone? We all feel alone at times. This message gives good insight on how to cope with loneliness when it assails us. This is especially a good message to give to youth or singles battling loneliness.
Do you feel alone? Maybe you find yourself sitting alone on Friday or Saturday nights wishing you were somewhere else doing something with someone. Believe it or not everyone feels this way sometimes—even the popular kids. Maybe for you this feeling of loneliness has become a way of life. For you this is a continual ache in your heart like an old war wound that just won’t go away.
Maybe you feel alone because you just broke up in a relationship? Maybe you feel this way because everyone has labeled and rejected you. Maybe you feel this way because have never been in a relationship and you don’t think you will ever be good enough for someone to love you. Many others, too, have gone through this as well. Many of those in the Bible understood loneliness. In the following passage, David pours his heart out concerning how he felt during a lonely period in his life.
1. A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the LORD. LORD, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea! 2. Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down your ear and answer me quickly when I call to you, 3. for my days disappear like smoke, and my bones burn like red-hot coals. 4. My heart is sick, withered like grass, and I have lost my appetite. 5. Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones. 6. I am like an owl in the desert, like a lonely owl in a far-off wilderness. 7. I lie awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roof. 8. My enemies taunt me day after day. They mock and curse me. 9. I eat ashes instead of my food. –New Living Translation
I want to focus on the last portion of this passage here: “I eat ashes instead of food.” Often time food is used in Scripture as an illustration of spiritual food. Jesus said: “Yes, I am the bread of life!” (John 6:48 NLT) In overcoming feelings of loneliness we must first realize that its cause is a spiritual hunger.
Most people are spiritually hungry—lonely inside. This is the case because in all of our hearts is a God shaped vacuum that only He can fill. Many young people try to fill that vacuum through friends, drugs, alcohol, sex, food, achievements, entertainment, and by acquiring things.
What they don’t realize, however, is that the joy in these things often turns to ashes. In the end, they are still empty inside. Think the high life is good? Few people have ever lived it up like Solomon, and this what he had to say:
"After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. While still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I hoped to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world."—Ecclesiastes 2:3 NLT
"I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire!
"So I became greater than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. And with it all, I remained clear-eyed so that I could evaluate all these things.
"Anything I wanted, I took. I did not restrain myself from any joy. I even found great pleasure in hard work, an additional reward for all my labors.
"But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless. It was like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere."—Ecclesiastes 2:8-11 NLT
Solomon was the richest man in the world! He had it all in the world’s eyes—wine, riches, women, and song! In the end, however, he realized it was nothing—nothing but ashes. The people of Israel, too, found themselves consuming ashes, and at great cost! Consider what is written here:
"Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink – even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk – it’s all free!
"Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen, and I will tell you where to get food that is good for the soul!"—Isaiah 55:1-2 NLT
People who seek to satisfy the hunger of their hearts with sex, alcohol, accomplishments, or other means often do so at a great price. Many you know may seem happy on the outside, but on the inside they are a train wreck. What God is saying to all of us is that the best soul food is free!
Consider what Jesus said to the woman at the well. In this case, He was talking about water instead of food, but the principle was the same—spiritual sustenance.