Posted by: mikenicholsblog | March 25, 2015

beyond any shadow of a doubt

Years ago, a man whom I was counseling on issues related to his marriage gave me a solemn, but telling description of it.  His words were … its seventy-two degrees on the porch and thirty degrees in the house.  He felt all alone in his own home.  When our twenty year-old daughter headed to New York City for college, she didn’t know a soul.  She was all alone in a sea of humanity (and rats in her dorm).  And it has been several years ago now since a close friend of mine attended a meeting of like-minded professionals.  During the meeting, he shared the pain of his wife passing away just months before.  The other attendees gave lip service to caring, and then proceeded with their meeting.  My friend was all alone in the company of people he was convinced would really care about his pain. I could continue with countless other examples of those overwhelming emotions which capture us when we feel all alone, but I believe you get my point.

My recent reading and studying have been focused on a “man after God’s own heart.” You know him as David. His life was filled with an inordinate amount of peaks and valleys. My reading has given me a fresh look at David’s life – strengths and weaknesses alike. After his slaying of Goliath and the fanfare that ensued, his life took a painful turn. For a long season, he was on the run from King Saul. His outlaw life placed him in a cave for a time, during which he wrote Psalm 142. Saul was intent on taking David’s life when the words were penned. There is no doubt he was in danger, overwhelmed and feeling abandoned. Words from this marvelous Psalm speak to his trust, and give hope to all Christ followers.

When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me.  I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. Then I pray to you, O Lord.  I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.
Psalm 142:3-5 (NLT)

David was overwhelmed, and lamented that no one really cared about what happened to him. When is the last time you had that all alone feeling? Have you ever felt like no one really gave much thought to what you were experiencing? Sure, you weren’t running from enemies, but the feelings of aloneness still overwhelmed you. We all know what it’s like to feel alone at home, in a crowd or with people we thought cared about us (but really didn’t). The key is how we respond to those inevitable times when our emotions of being all alone seek to dim our view of God.

In David’s cave “prison,” we see his pain bubble to the surface. It’s interesting that we, at the same time, witness a supreme confidence in his Lord. He said, you alone know the way I should turn. He later prayed, You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life. David knew God had an answer for his aloneness.  He affirmed that God was his refuge and further declared that his desire in life was God. His faith and confidence in Jehovah conquered his feelings of abandonment in the cave.

You and I will experience times when we feel all alone … even in a room full of people. There will also be times we feel no one understands, cares, or gives our pain a passing thought. But there is Someone who cares! He never misses a moment of your life, and if you are in Christ, you are never all alone in your struggle. Both my and your challenge is this — Will we make God our refuge for every day?  Will we desire His plan for us above all else? If we do, faith will conquer our feelings and we will know beyond any shadow of a doubt, we are never all alone.

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