(Today’s devotion is taken from the front page of this month’s Church newsletter)

Psalm 148:18  “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.”  (NIV)

Like everyone else, I experience from loneliness from time to time. It’s an odd feeling, especially when it occurs in a crowded room or when I’m with a small company of friends. I get lost in my own thoughts and feel isolated from everything or everyone around me. I know I can be a distant introvert at times, but loneliness goes beyond that. I feel as though I’m missing something or someone in my life and that there is some sort of primeval emptiness or existential gap.

Some theologians would say that I’m actually missing God and that the loneliness in my life exists because I’m really longing to be reconnected to my Creator. The chasm that exists between us makes me feel isolated and vulnerable, unprotected and all alone. I can’t do anything to mend the breach or bridge the gap, so I’m stuck on this side of eternity, missing my Maker and feeling forsaken.

And then something amazing happens. As I call out to God in prayer, His presence fills my heart. As I reach out to God like a child holding out hands to a parent, I am suddenly lifted up spiritually and embraced by God. The loneliness lifts and my isolation ends. I am restored to God’s favor and reconnected to His love. What the psalmist wrote all of those centuries ago turns out to be true: God comes near to all who call on Him.

Perhaps you’re feeling lonely, too. Maybe you’ve lost your confidence or purpose and end up feeling isolated, misunderstood, or even unloved. Whatever the case, please call on the Lord, even as you are reading this short message. If you do, then I firmly believe that God will draw near to you and allow His presence to touch your mind, heart, and soul with His love.

Point to ponder: When I feel lonely, do I talk to God? When I talk to God, does my loneliness lift?

Prayer: Lord God, when I experience loneliness or isolation, allow me the comfort of Your presence. Keep me from feeling forsaken and bring me closer to You. In Christ’s Name, I pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s latest lectionary drawings for Psalm 54. If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.