Alone can be nice. Alone can mean a moment away from all the busyness. Alone can mean time to mentally process. But alone, away from, or even in the middle of all the busyness, can also mean loneliness. When alone means loneliness, we feel afraid. We might cover and avoid our fear with all sorts of other emotions, or mask and ignore our inner fear with all sorts of non-emotion, but the fear caused by the loneliness is still there.
David knew fear. In Psalm 56, he writes of the time when he is running from Saul, who wants to kill him (I Samuel 21:10-15.) He is very alone. He calls out to God, who is trustworthy. He cries out to God, who keeps count of his tossing and turning in the lonely night. God puts David’s tears in His bottle. He records them in His book.
When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you…
You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:3,8)
Could it be that God saved David’s honest words these thousands of years so that we’d also trust Him with our own raw emotions? Could it be that He wants to help us each time we forget that He compassionately counts each lonely tear? I think so.
When do you need to remember that God cares for your every fear? When do you need help believing that no tear or tossing goes unnoticed, that no lonely moment, week, or year is really spent alone?
When you need that kind of help, the movement required isn’t a mighty one. Only a small, weak voice is needed. A cry in the night. A call to God, who is there. To God, trustworthy and eternal, who delights to help when His child voices her need:
Father, I’m so afraid. I feel lonely and alone. I want to trust in You, but I can only do so if You turn my heart to You! Please, Lord, help me to trust! Remind me when I toss in the night that You are here. Soothe and calm me, encourage and restore me. I need to remember that I’m known by You.
That You keep count of my tossings.
You put all my tears in your bottle.
You record them in your book.
So, really, I’m not alone at all.
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”