There is a mystery in human hearts,
And though we be encircled by a host
Of those who love us well, and are beloved,
To every one of us, from time to time,
There comes a sense of utter loneliness.
Our dearest friend is stranger to our joy
And cannot realize our bitterness.
“There is not one who really understands,
Not one to enter into all I feel.”
Such is the cry of each of us, in turn.
We wander in a solitary way,
No matter what or where our lot may be.
Each heart, mysterious even to itself
Must live its inner life in solitude.
And would you know the reason why this is?
It is because the Lord desires our love.
In every heart He wishes to be first;
He therefore keeps the secret key Himself,
To open all its chambers and to bless,
With perfect sympathy and Holy peace,
Each solitary soul which comes to Him.
So when we feel this loneliness, it is
The voice of Jesus saying, “Come to Me.”
And every time we are not understood,
It is a call for us to come again;
For Christ alone can satisfy the soul,
And those who walk with Him from day to day,
Can never know a “solitary way.”
And when beneath some heavy cross you faint
And say “I cannot bear this load alone,”
You say the truth. Christ allowed it purposely
So heavy that you must return to Him.
The bitter grief which no one understands
Conveys a secret message from the King
Entreating you to come to Him again.
The “Man of sorrows” understands it well.
In all points tempted, He can feel with you.
You cannot come too often, or too near:
The Son of God is infinite in grace,
His presence satisfies the lonely soul,
And those who walk with Him from day to day
Can never know a “solitary way.”1
Jesus, speaking in John 16:32, said these words, “Ye shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” Wonderful words: “I am not alone, for the Father is with me.”
I have been amazed to find in my mail lately so many letters that tell of loneliness. There are two burdens expressed in so many of the letters, more than others: sickness and loneliness. But this one today deals with loneliness: people who have an abundance of everything, and have people all around them, and yet they live in utter loneliness at times.
There is a story about this verse, of a young man in one of our hotels, who, planning to take his life by leaping from the hotel window knocked a Gideon Bible off the table as he moved towards the window. In the fall the Bible opened, and curious to see just what it said where it opened, he read this very verse, “Ye shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.”
His wife had left him alone, and this seemed a direct message right to him. He sat down and read it over and over: “Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” And He wanted to know more about the Father, so he read other passages, and read on and on into the night. Oh, it was such a wonderful thing that happened; both his life and soul were miraculously saved.
This is one kind of loneliness, when loved ones are taken away, and the home and heart seem so empty. Loneliness, after all, doesn’t have a great deal to do with old age, because many young people have been terribly lonely and homesick when among strangers away from home. However, there is a loneliness of old age, when the life companion is gone, and old friends, so many have passed away.
In the launderette the other day I was striving to write a letter, but a very talkative elderly lady was pouring out her heart and her life story to a woman by her side. Later, after this woman had left, I said to the listening friend, “Your friend surely enjoyed talking to you.” She answered, “She’s not a friend. I never saw that woman before, but she seemed so terribly lonely and said she had no one to talk to. So I thought I could do a little good by just being a listener until she emptied out her heart.” I wonder if you ever did that for some lonely person.
The loneliness Jesus speaks of here is the loneliness of leadership, and He knew just what that meant. There are men today who will not give up their convictions, and they’re being ridiculed and rejected because of it. Jesus knew what that meant. God’s Word says, “Many of his disciples went back, and walked with him no more” (John 6:66).
There’s the loneliness of being misunderstood. There are many other kinds of loneliness that can happen to almost anyone. There is a deep longing in every heart for someone to understand and share their interests, and solve their problems and sympathize with them, enter into their joys and triumphs, sorrows and defeat.
Let us ask the question now: Why is this deep craving to be understood? Why is this intense longing to have someone fully understand us? We ask this question because it is true that no human being will ever fully understand you. No living mortal can ever enter the deepest recesses of your mind, your heart, and soul. Always there is a locked door where no one can enter but yourself.
If this is true then, has God made a mistake of some kind that He’d leave such a void in our makeup? He’s made provision for other hungers of the life. Is the soul to be unsatisfied, this longing for true satisfaction to be left unfulfilled? I want to answer that, and let it sink deep into your heart.
God knew that when you found human love and sympathy so lacking you’d seek Him, for God Himself is the answer, the fulfillment. Only He Himself can fill the longing heart. You’ll never be satisfied without Him; until He fills your life you’ll never be free from loneliness. God knew that this sense of isolation, of not being understood, would drive you to Him. You’re just made that way.
God’s Word says, “Christ is a satisfying portion,” and He’ll satisfy every longing of your heart.2 It’s real! Millions today testify to that. God is great enough and big enough to fill your soul.
Oh, let Him come into your lonely heart and take over, and then you can say as Jesus said, “I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”
God bless you.