The Comfort of His Presence
Read Psalm 25:16 (ESV)
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
Think back on the loneliest moment of your life so far. Were you able to feel God’s presence? Did you seek Him for comfort?
Research suggests that more and more Americans are struggling with loneliness. A study by a health insurance company showed that about 60% of Americans report feeling lonely. Sadly, the loneliness that Americans feel is impacting mental and spiritual health. Some are even calling this loneliness crisis an epidemic. But what can we, as followers of Jesus Christ, do about our own loneliness?
In today’s verse, we see that David also experienced periods of great loneliness and isolation in his life. At one point, David was forced to flee and hide from his father-in-law, the first King of Israel, Saul. During this time, David spent time both hiding in a cave and living on the run in the wilderness. You can read about all of this in 1 Samuel 18-31. When he fled, he left behind his wife, his parents, and his best friend. Later in his life, David was on the run again, this time from his own son, Absalom. Can you imagine the betrayal he must have felt on top of his isolation? But David’s responses to his lonely situations are an example to all of us. He didn’t turn to empty things to fill his need for companionship and comfort. He turned to the Lord.
In today’s verse, we see an example of David crying out to God. He wanted to feel God’s presence. He wanted to know he was not alone. And when we read the rest of Psalm 25, we can see that David trusted God to answer him. “To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust…” (Psalm 25:1). In verse 14, David wrote, “The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him….” David had a personal relationship with God and when he was lonely or in trouble, he sought the Lord’s presence. He guarded God as a friend because he feared Him.
Friend, where do you turn when you are lonely? Do you binge TV to fill empty hours? Do you try to numb the pain with alcohol or drugs? Do you fill up on food to fill the emptiness in your soul? Do you seek out inappropriate relationships to fill the void of companionship that you feel? Or do you turn to the Lord and ask Him to be with you?
If you are struggling with loneliness, turn to God. Like David, cry out to Him and tell Him what you are feeling. When I need comfort and I need to be reminded of God’s presence, I open my Bible and turn to the Psalms. I also take a page out of David’s book and write my prayers down. I encourage you to do the same. David knew that nothing else could fill his void. But he knew that in God’s presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).
Lord, thank You for the gift of your presence. I know that when I am lonely or feeling a sense of emptiness, nothing else can satisfy except for You. Help me to seek You instead of the empty things to fill me up. Amen.