An Antidote to Loneliness: Keeping Company with God

woman standing on vast desert under golden hour
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar… Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? [Psalm 139:1-2,7]

These are lonely times, aren’t they? We can be connected with hundreds of people online, but we might not even see one person’s face. We are keeping our distance from people to avoid the spread of a pandemic. We are missing weddings and the births of grandchildren. We are missing parades and concerts. But most of all, we are missing relationships. And whether or not this leads us to fear or anxiety, it is most certainly leading us to loneliness.

Loneliness is a very real part of our human experience. Feeling like no one is there for us, or no one cares about us, or no one would miss us if we were gone. It can even feel like God himself is distant from us. The psalmist summarizes this for us in Psalm 13:1, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” This kind of loneliness is overwhelming and can be devastating to our souls.
I believe the antidote we have is prayer. Prayer is keeping company, first and foremost with God. As the Psalmist makes clear in Psalm 139, even if we feel like God has forgotten us, we know that there is nowhere we can go from God’s Spirit or presence. God knows us intimately, and God is always there for us.

Even after our loneliest, we have company. Even when we are all alone, abandoned, or neglected, we have the Spirit of Jesus. God is searching your heart and mind. God is hearing your thoughts and prayers. When we turn to God, we can be certain God has been waiting all along, keeping company with us even in the silence of our loneliness.

There was only one person ever abandoned by God. For a few hours, on a wooden cross on a cloudy hill, Jesus was suspended between heaven and earth. Jesus put loneliness to death in that place, and he forever forged the bond between God and his people.

Keep company with God today. Pray to him and turn to the One who will never leave you nor forsake you!

Prayer: Lord God, even when we don’t feel it, you are there. Even when we don’t believe it or see it, you are there. We cannot ever leave your presence. We are always known by you! What great news this is. Help us to be satisfied in your presence, and to keep company with you all the days of our lives. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

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