Your Loss and Your Loneliness: Does Anybody Understand?
Elder Jeff Winfrey, Pastor
Dawson Springs Primitive Baptist Church
101 East Walnut Street
Dawson Springs, KY 42408
Is there any solution to the loneliness and hurt I feel concerning the loss of my loved one?
You may have been told that time will help. But in reality there is nothing magic about time. Sometimes anguish is eased by time and in other cases time may just bring new sorrows.
Some say a therapist or a preacher will help. This may be true. But you need to be cautious, because bad advice runs rampant in our culture. And many therapists and preachers (myself included) seem to say more wrong things than right.
Sometimes being with family may help. But in other cases the presence of family causes memories of the departed that only magnify the feelings of loneliness.
Some say prayer helps, while others say that they can no longer pray. Some say God helps, while others cry, “Why God? How could you?” Some therapists even recommend getting angry at God. As a minister of the gospel and a defender of the only real truth and hope in this world, I strongly disagree with this approach.
For what you need more than anything at this time of grief and loneliness is to have someone who really understands what you feel. And God is the only being in the universe who does just that. You need Him more right now than ever. He is the friend who sticks closer than a brother, the friend who will never leave you or forsake you, the friend who one day is coming back for you. But most of all, right now, He is the friend who searches your heart and knows your very thoughts.
God Truly Knows
Does God, even Jesus Christ Himself, know anything about loneliness?
God knew what loneliness was from the beginning when He declared, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” And He gave Adam the perfect mate–taken from Adam’s side to be by his side.
The Holy Spirit of God has declared, “Two are better than one…for if they fall the one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him that is alone when he falleth for he hath not another to help him up.”
The Bible declares these words, “Hear my cry, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee…I watch, and am as a sparrow upon the housetop.” That lonely sparrow with no companion–what loneliness.
Yes, it is clear from these and many other places in God’s word that God does have an understanding of the feelings in a person, even the feelings of loneliness.
And you are not alone in your feelings of loss and loneliness. From the loss that Eve must have felt at the death of her son, to what you feel right now, throughout time, real people have felt real hurt.
Many in the Bible felt it. Joseph spent thirteen years in a foreign land either as a slave or a prisoner. Moses spent forty years on the ‘backside of the desert’. After three years in hiding, in his loneliness, Elijah requested to God that he might die. Jeremiah, a man with no home and no family, wrote the sad, sad book of Lamentations.
Yes, God knows about loneliness and many have felt it besides you. But is there any help for it? You may be saying, ‘Is there anything that can help my case?’
The World’s Cures
The world’s cure for loneliness is summed up very well in the words to the song, The Piano Man, by Billy Joel.
It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in,
There’s an old man sitting next to me
Making love to his tonic and gin….
And the waitress is practicing politics,
While the businessmen slowly get stoned
They’re sharing a drink they call loneliness
But it’s better than drinking alone.
Sing us a song, you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight,
Well, we’re all in the mood for a melody,
And you’ve got us feeling alright.
Is ‘sharing a drink they call loneliness’ your answer? It may seem to be for the moment, but surely there is a better option than this means of escape.
Some will say, ‘Now get a grip! It is time to get over this thing.’ Oh! If they only knew! Sometimes family, friends, therapists and preachers are truly miserable comforters. They just do not understand.
And perhaps the only person who would really understand you is the one who is gone. And in your despair you may have thought, ‘How could you leave me like this? You ought to be here for me.’
Your loved one is no longer here to help. ‘Sharing a drink they call loneliness’ is not your answer. Miserable comforters who do not understand your case are not your answer. As a matter of fact, this world may not have your answer. But there is an answer that exceeds this world’s cures.
Your answer rests in the one who does know your case–even your every feeling. He is not of this world but is present in Spirit in this world and is a very present help in time of trouble. He is your greatest friend, the one who died for you and for your departed loved one. His name is Jesus and He is real.
Jesus knows how you feel. He has felt it Himself. He was a ‘man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.’ He ‘trod the winepress alone.’ He ‘looked and there was none to help.’ All men left Him alone and even the Father turned away prompting the woeful cry, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Yes! Finally, there is one who knows loneliness and knows how you feel.
And not only does Jesus know how you feel, He knows what you feel. We have Him as a high priest who can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. He is touched with your feelings, with your weakness, with your helplessness. He that searches the heart, even the Spirit of Christ within you, knows your heart and groans with you. Praise God! He knows how you feel, and He knows what you feel. He understands you to the core.
And He has promised, “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.” He said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” The Bible declares that you can “cast our cares on Him, for He cares for you.” The scriptures promise that He will “never leave you or forsake you.” Your Friend, Jesus, says to you, “Come unto me. All ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
Comfort for the Weary
My friend, when Jesus was here, when He walked on the sands of this earth, when He journeyed on the sands of time, He looked on the multitudes and had compassion. How often He proved Himself to be the God of all comfort to the lonely individual and to the miserable masses!
Though He does not presently walk the sands of earth or time, He is no less real than when He did dwell among men. As a matter of fact, He still dwells among men. He lives within your heart. He lives right where you hurt the most. And Jesus is the same God now as He was 2000 years ago. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His compassions fail not and His mercies are new every morning. He is still touched with our pains. And when He looks at all the lonely people–yes, when He looks at all the lonely people–He surely has compassion.
And His compassion goes beyond sympathy for the group in general. He is a Friend who is personally concerned with each individual. His salvation was for personal individuals that He knew and loved. And His compassion is the same. He is real. His help is real. His understanding of you and your unique case is real. His love for you is real, never ending, and to a such a depth that He died for you. What will He not do for you now?
I encourage you. You have a personal and powerful friend who knows how you feel, who knows what you feel, and who cares for you more than anyone else ever has or ever will. In prayer, go to Him.
May He touch your lonely heart. May His presence fill your emptiness.