An Antidote to Loneliness: Keeping Company with Ourselves

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Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. Be agitated, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. (Psalm 4:3-4)

How are you doing, really? When was the last time you sat with that question? How long has it been since you wrestled with your internal state.

There are plenty of reasons to be agitated. There are plenty of things that might have us worked up. Often, our internal dialogue is stifled by the very situations that we need to process. A recent breakup, a loss of a loved one, an argument with a co-worker, uncertainty in how to be present for people: we need to work through our feelings so that we can properly respond.

Psalm 4 encourages us to keep company with ourselves. This is one of the great gifts of prayer, that we can sit not only with God, but that God works as a mediator even for our own thoughts and feelings. The Lord hears when we call, and the Lord calls us to sit down, calm down, and pray. Time to work through what we are going through.

Let me ask again: What are you wrestling with today? How are you really doing? Maybe you feel like David, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3). It might be uncomfortable, but God is with you. Jesus is keeping you company as you dive into the deep issues of the heart. It is hard work: “The purpose of a man’s heart is deep waters, but a man of understanding will draw it out” (Prov. 20:5).

Spend some time keeping company with yourself. Jesus wants you to know yourself, to love yourself. Well, to be fair, he actually says, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” but doesn’t that require us to love and know ourselves? Jesus loves you and redeems you. No matter how daunting it may sound, search out your heart, ponder in your own bed, and work alongside God to draw out the deep waters within yourself.

Prayer: Lord God, we know you are with us, and you are keeping us company. Foster within us a spirit of discernment and openness, that we might sit with ourselves and come to peace with who you have made us to be and what you have called us to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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