Loneliness in Times of Trouble


Psalm 10:1 – Why dost thou stand far off O Lord? Why dost Thou hide thyself in times of trouble?

Can you remember a time when you felt completely alone? A time when that electricity of fear began to surge through you? Separated from your parents as a child. Lost, driving alone at night not sure where you are or how you’ll get home. Walking in a dangerous neighborhood alone at night, thinking maybe someone is watching you. Walking to your car in a parking lot at night by yourself. There are times in life when it feels like we are in a nightmare where you are so frightened you try to scream but no sound comes out. Like a child clicking out the lights in their dark basement and running as fast as they can to escape, fear magnifies with isolation.

Or maybe it was not fear but desolation. That horrible empty feeling. The moment your spouse said it was over. The abusive parent, the prodigal child, the loss of job or health. Maybe it was external circumstances out of our control. Maybe it was something you caused -- no matter.

That moment when the pain is so acute that you go numb but know that any second the pain will hit you. The moment you feel the slice of the knife but don’t yet see the blood, but you know it’s coming; you just don’t know how bad it is. The dark night of the soul.

Or it could be as Emerson said in Walden, the life of quiet desperation. Not the event or circumstance, but the long slow decline. We wake up one morning and ask ourselves, ‘How in the world did I get here? And how do I get out?’

There are times in our lives when we feel completely alone and afraid. Times when we know pain is coming and there is nothing we can do to stop it. And sometimes we can feel, like David did, that God has abandoned us. But like David, we must know the truth in these times -- YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you. I will be with you always, until the end of the age.”

 Read those words again. He will never forsake us, never abandon us, will never allow us to go through more than we can bear, and will strengthen us in the midst of our most difficult circumstances. He is a very present help for us in time of trial, a strong tower, and our refuge and strength. The One Who sits enthroned on high, knows your situation more intimately than you do, loves You and is in ultimate control.

We can trust that He is good and that He really does ultimately have all things in His control. He not only cares for us but will cause even the worst thing that happens to us to somehow, through His miracle of redemption and restoration, be used for our good.

We might not fully understand it at the time.  Perhaps in this life we never will. And it may never be fully right in this life. But we can fully trust the promises of God. He has not broken a promise yet, and He is not going to tarnish His spotless record on you. So, no matter what you have been through, you may not understand the ‘why’, but you can trust the ‘Who.’

You, like Job, can say, ‘though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Blessed be the name of the Lord’. And like Job, in the midst of the trial, the dark night of the soul, that moment that you feel the pain of being abandoned by God, you can worship Him and know, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Questions for Thought:

  1. What was the worst situation you’ve ever been in?

  2. How did it feel to you at the time? Did you feel isolated, empty, afraid, depressed?

  3. Looking back, can you see how God worked in that situation?

Dan began as part of the Music Team in 1995 and in 1998 became a full time member of staff.

He is known for his skills on lead guitar. Dan leads the band by recruiting musicians and creating the musical excellence that is a cornerstone for Orchard Hill. He has a BA from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA from Duquesne University in Music Performance-Jazz.

Dan and his wife, Lidija, and their three children live in Wexford.