Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Psalm 25:16 (ESV)
Driving past golden daffodils lining roadside verges on my daily commute, I can’t help but burst into recitation of the poem by William Wordsworth:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
I remember writing essays based on this poem such as, “Explore the theme of loneliness in William Wordsworth’s poem Daffodils,” or, “What was the poet’s state of mind in writing the poem?” Loneliness. Even the word sounds sad, doesn’t it? Albert Einstein once said:
It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.
There is a difference between aloneness and loneliness. As Tim Hansel said:
Loneliness is not the same as being alone. Loneliness is feeling alone … no matter how many people are around you. It is a feeling of being disconnected, unplugged, left out, isolated.
Loneliness can be experienced when we’re alone or when we are completely surrounded by people. It is both ironic and tragic that in a time when we are more connected technologically than ever, we also see some of the highest recorded rates of loneliness in history.
Do you feel like you are all alone; that no one in the world cares for you? Perhaps you’re lonely now. Have you been in a crowded room and felt like you were the only person there? Have you ever cried yourself to sleep because you felt like no one cares? In the Bible David experienced such profound moments of loneliness and cried out in despair. Many Psalms address his deep loneliness. For example:
I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. I lie awake, and am like a sparrow alone on the housetop. Psalm 102:6-7 (KJV)
I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. Psalm 69:20 (KJV)
I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. Psalm 142:4 (NLT)
There are many lonely people today. You may be lonely, but you’re never alone. Jesus promised never to leave us. If no one else understands, He does. If everybody else fails you, He will not. Jesus says:
I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:20b (NIV)
It is interesting to note that the word ‘lonely’ is never used in the New Testament to describe people, only places. In Christ we have constant companionship. When you see the familiar trumpet-shaped springtime blooms, cherish the presence of Christ with you daily and reach out to someone in your community who is ‘lonely as a cloud’.