Dining Alone Tonight

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Greetings to Meditation Moments, and again, God bless you and make you a blessing.

I was sitting the other night in the hotel restaurant where we had gone for a great prayer gathering in the Bowl there. And as I sat alone in the dining room, the head waiter came past the table and said, “You’re dining alone tonight?” As he went on, I thought, “Am I dining alone?”

Memory did go back many years to the times when my precious companion had been with me in so many places and we’d had such wonderful fellowship together, and the companionship had grown sweeter as the days go by. I say to some of you young people, and some young housewife that’s listening in: hold on. Let some things pass, and don’t take up every little thing, because as the years come and go, those things will amount to so little, and the companionship grows sweeter as the years go by.

I sat there thinking about another companionship, and I thought, “No, I’m not alone.” I’m really not alone, and I feel no real loneliness, such as the world would feel. I looked over and saw someone alone sitting at another booth not far from me, and they did look lonely. I thought of the cure for loneliness. In Matthew 28:20 God’s Word says: “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

My husband was a Swede, and we used to read some of a great Swedish poet’s works, who, at the very peak of his popularity and fame, spoke of the incurable loneliness of the soul. He knew what he was talking about. He had a whole nation at his feet and a few staunch friends who shared his philosophy of life and spoke the language of his soul, and he had tasted the fruit of human love.

He had dipped very deeply into all of life’s experiences, but his life was in incurable loneliness. Why was it so? He’d shut God out of his world, no matter how wonderful his writings. Of course, hence it’s utter hopelessness, when you shut God out.

I want to read just a few lines from In His Presence by Anna J. Lindgren. It’s a wonderful little book and it’s quite a lengthy book, but it has wonderful, stirring articles in it.

The loneliness of the soul is a fact. We do not live by twos. We live alone. Our trails may meet and cross, or run parallel, but they never merge; they ever remain our own. If we must look to another human soul for complete satisfaction, understanding, we’re going to be disappointed. You will remain ever, incurably lonely. Because we have access to the companionship of one who does not heed the imperfect medium of my words, because His eyes can read the desires and reactions of my soul like an open book, I can be assured of a love that knows neither beginning nor ending, and that does not stop at any sacrifice making for my happiness. A love that delights to stoop when He can lift me, and whose resources for my development are as endless as His being. A perfect Person, this companion, Jesus Christ.

So intimately near, infinitely satisfying, ever at hand, and if I have Him, then my loneliness is cured, and the poet is wrong. I know he’s wrong, for I know Christ, and He has said, as I read to you a moment ago, “Lo, I am with you always.” Oh, this fellowship divine with the Lord Jesus Christ! And this precious song:

When my way grows drear
Precious Lord, linger near
When the light is almost gone
Hear my cry, hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall:
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.1

I know you love that one. It’s a little song, and so precious in some hours when we might be lonely if we didn’t have Him.

So I sat there thinking about the head waiter. I thought, “I know something he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know that there sits one here beside me, the Lord Jesus Christ, so near and so precious, and that I try to follow Him.” Because, dearly beloved, if you’re not going to follow in His footsteps and follow in obedience, there will be a loneliness. You’ll feel His presence withdrawn.

In another little book I would like to send you, there’s a statement about broken fellowship: “Would you judge those things which bring about a broken fellowship: the unlawfulness of a pleasure, whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things; whatever increases the authority of your body over your mind, that thing to you is sin.”2

He’s still on the throne and prayer changes things for you.

  1. Adapted from “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” by Thomas Dorsey, 1932.
  2. Susanna Wesley (1669–1742).