Summary: Message 3 of 6 on emotions. Loneliness.
There’s No One to Dance With
102 LORD, listen to my prayer;
let my cry for help come to you.
2 Do not hide from me
in my time of trouble.
Pay attention to me.
When I cry for help, answer me quickly.
3 My life is passing away like smoke,
and my bones are burned up with fire.
4 My heart is like grass
that has been cut and dried.
I forget to eat.
5 Because of my grief,
my skin hangs on my bones.
I am like a desert owl,
like an owl living among the ruins.
I lie awake.
I am like a lonely bird on a housetop.
The Gallup Poll says loneliness affects more than a third of the population,and psychologist say that figure is rising. Census figures indicate that the number of Americans living alone has tripled since 1960. But figures can be misleading. A person can be alone but not feel lonely or be in a crowd and feel like the last person on earth.
Sara Teasdale was an American Poet. She won numerous awards for her poetry including the Columbia University Poetry Society Award, the Pulitzer Price for Poetry, and the Poetry Prize from the American Poetry Society wrote,
My soul is a dark ploughed field
In the cold rain;
My soul is a broken field
Ploughed by pain.
- Sara Teasdale (1884-1933).
Sara Teasdale died of a overdose of sleeping pills in 1933
David was Alone
In a minute we are going to look at Psalms 142 – another poem written by David in a moment of desair and loneliness. But before we look at the circumstances surrounding this Psalm. It was a prayer that David prayed while in the cave hiding from King Saul who was seeking to kill him!
Saul orders David to be killed
Saul hurls a spear at David
Saul sends men to kill David at home
David escapes out the window
David escapes out the window and his wife places a dummy in his bed to fool Saul’s men – 1 Samuel 19:12
David is protected at Ramah by Prophets
He fled to Ramah and the spirit of God surrounded David with prophets who protected him.
David flees Ramah to go to Jonathan
Saul came after him and he fled again to Jonathan who protected and hid him - 1 Samuel 20:1
Jonathan tries to intervene and almost gets killed
David ran from Jonathan and went to Nob to collect the sword of Goliath - 1 Samuel 21
David flees to Philistia and acts the part of a madman
David ran to Philistines where he had to act the part of a crazy man to escape with is life - 1 Samuel 21:10
David runs to the cave where he hides
He ran to the cave of Abdullam and hid where he wrote this poem… - 1 Samuel 22:1
Look at this narrative of David’s life… And you think you had a bad year! You think that the Soprano’s TV show was dramatic! TV and Hollywood has nothing on David! He went through it all!
Talk about stress.
Talk about feelings of abandonment.
Talk about feeling alone.
No wonder he wrote what he did in Psalms 142…
David was Alone
Look around me and see.
No one cares about me.
I have no place of safety;
no one cares if I live.
David was inside a physical cave, but he was also in a spiritual cave as well! His Spirit Was In Darkness. You see what David said was not true! Lots of people cared for and tried to protect David… but it’s how he felt.
Loneliness is magnified by our circumstances and overwhelms us.
In the third verse the text says, “When I am afraid”. Literally it says when I am overwhelmed and weakened.
When my spirit was overwhelmed..............
The word "overwhelmed" means clothed or shrouded. David was in a literal cave where the light was limited! Yet, the greater darkness was in his spirit! He was overwhelmed inside!
The fact that the man of God, David, he that had been chosen to be the future King of Israel was overwhelmed reminds us of his humanness. It reminds us that anyone is subject to periods of darkness, despair, discouragement, or depression!
David was feeling very much alone and very sorry for himself. He was having a pretty nice pity-party – and who would blame him.
Loneliness is not wrong! It’s an emotion and a feeling that can lead us into despair and depression and worse.
Too many people look to the wrong things for comfort and help in their loneliness. Loneliness is the root of many a foolish action. It’s the motivation behind most of the addictive behaviors we indulge in. We’re lonely so we go out and drink. We need comforting so we eat a big piece of pie. We need to feel good when things aren’t so good so we light up a cigarette and take a long puff. We want to feel loved so we look for someone who will say nice things to us – even if they don’t really mean it.