"Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him"(I Kings 19:18).
Have you ever felt so lonely that you believed you would be better off dead? Have you ever wondered if anyone cared for you and your circumstances? Have you ever felt like hiding from all of your troubles and difficulties? You now know how Elijah, the prophet of God, felt as he wondered if there were any who would stand by him as he tried to serve God. In the prophet's own words, "And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away" (I Kings 19:10).
Elijah found a cave and "lodged there." A suitable place to hide, but he did not hide from God. The Lord asked him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" Had the prophet forgotten that the Lord was caring for him? Even as he slept under the Juniper tree, Jehovah prepared a meal while he was sleeping. The prophet was exhausted, but now he was rested. The prophet was hungry, but now he is full. The Lord had seen to the needs of this great prophet. Even in the midst of his despair, the Lord was with him, ready to provide the help and/or comfort needed by this man of God.
Loneliness is a miserable feeling. In some, it causes severe depression. Feeling he has no way to go, no one to talk with, no one to encourage and no one seems to care, he feels alone. The disciple of Christ can overcome that loneliness by remembering that the Lord is standing by(Elijah found that our). Paul found that the Lord stood by him. Knowing that the Lord cared and would provide for him, Paul placed his trust in the Almighty.
When you feel like Elijah, look to the Lord for help and comfort. When you realize, that there is someone, like Paul, who cares and will provide the strength for one to carry on regardless of what is happening. Men may fail; Jehovah never fails.
One also has fellow disciples who care and will be there in ones time of need. When you feel lonely, call a Christian and visit for a while on the phone. If needful, ask it you can spend some time with one who is faithful. And, of course, address the Lord and share your loneliness with him. If no one else listens, God will. Even Jesus Christ felt that loneliness as he hung upon the cross. Remember what He said: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? The Jews had turned against him; the civil authorities condemned him to die; the soldiers carried out the act. As a man, Jesus felt the loneliness of dying under such circumstances. Hence, he felt abandoned at that moment.
The next time you feel you are alone, look about you. You have your family, you have your friends, you have your brethren--and above all else, you have the Lord by your side. Take time to talk to God--He will listen! And, yes, the brethren also care.
By James L. Yopp
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