Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Loneliness Versus Solitude

by Marie Gildea

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish.
Psalm 25:16-17, NIV

Psalm 25 is one of my most ‘go to’ psalms. It just fits where I am most days. David starts by declaring the Lord is his God and reiterates his trust in Him no matter how he is feeling that day. ‘In you Lord my God I put my trust, I trust in you’. What an amazing way to start a prayer!

He then goes on to ask the Lord to show him, teach him and guide him in His ways, helping him to put aside his ways in favour of God’s. He then asks the Lord to forgive his sins and forget the sins of his youth.  David’s cry to the Lord continues and, in verse 14, he declares that God the Creator offers His friendship to all who revere Him. If we respect the Lord in all we do, then we have the friendship of Almighty God. Wow!

What I really love about this psalm is the way David cries out in his loneliness and affliction (verses 16-17).  I find loneliness is talked about so little. It can seem a sad thing to admit that we might be feeling lonely, and the fear of being misunderstood can often lead to suffering alone, hence causing a downward spiral. Of course, there are many variations and being alone is quite different to the emotional state of feeling lonely. Loneliness is often associated with feelings of rejection and isolation and can be a temporary state while we become accustomed to a loss or a change in life.

I understand that loneliness is one of the greatest sources of suffering today, and that it is considered the disease of today. But, as God’s children, we have an opportunity to change our loneliness into solitude. Our aloneness does not have to be a wound but can be received as a gift from God. In a place of solitude, we can allow ourselves to experience the deep love of our heavenly Father. From my own experience this is an amazing thing to try and put into practice.

Feeling lonely does not always mean we are alone. We can be with others and still have feelings of loneliness. This disease of today can be a state of the heart and is not always a result of our physical circumstances. David captures this in verse 17 when he says to the Lord, ‘Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish’.

If you are struggling with your feelings today, loneliness or otherwise, it seems as if one of the most important steps to try and take is to cry out to God as David did. ‘Turn to me and be gracious to me’, said David. So, tell Him how you are feeling and have an openness to allow Him to work. Let’s revere Him in all we do today and seek His amazing friendship first and foremost in our life!

Marie Gildea Marie has joined the Ellel Team in 2021 currently serving on the two year Service & Discipleship role at Ellel Grange. She sensed God telling her this was her new home whilst on the 9-week Flagship programme earlier in the year. Having moved her life from Staffordshire she is enjoying her new surroundings in Lancashire and in her spare time is often seen in the great outdoors enjoying God’s amazing creation.

 

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