This Alone Thing

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
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Listen while you read: "Brightest And Best"1 (Lyrics)

I don't like it! This living alone experience sometimes feels like being alone on a desert island. Oh, I know that having God in our lives, we should be able to circumvent those feelings, but really, why does it always seem like that is the case?

After losing my wife of fifty-one years, I felt like I'd lost part of my body — spiritually speaking, I suppose I did — you know, husband and wife, one flesh. The Word of God states:

Genesis 2:24 – Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (NKJV)

Many well-intentioned folk say to me, "You should never feel lonely if you have Jesus in your heart." "Alone, but not lonely." Give me a break! Are we not human? And didn't God say, "It is not good that man should be alone" (Genesis 2:18b NKJV), and give him a wife to commune with?

I suppose that we should really be able to deal with being alone as a widow or widower. Otherwise, it could be a separation or a divorce that leaves us alone, especially if we don't have children with us.

I'm involved in many activities in my life and regularly see my church friends. I have a super bunch of kids who have me over for visits and meals, and I have a dog for company. But no matter our social relationships, we have to return to our own house, with all its memories of life together with the parted one.

How then shall we exist in this grieving, without going into a deep depression? The secret is getting closer to God and allowing the Holy Spirit to heal our broken heart. This can be accomplished by singing praises to the Lord, reading His Word, and fellowshipping with God's people. This has worked for me, and I'm gradually experiencing fewer times of loneliness.

We will feel less alone if we internalize what Jesus said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5b NKJV), and we will discover the truth in the lyrics of a well-known song: "He was there all the time".

Prayer: Father, may we always feel Your presence in our times of despair as we cry out to You, the One who never leaves us isolated. In Jesus' name, we ask. Amen.

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About the author:

Allan Smith <>
Innisfil, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Right on …

    Bless you Allan. Good word for today.

    God Bless you and continue to guide you Allen.

    Allan – I found the lyrics you mentioned in your devotional:
    Maybe other readers would like to hear them, the words are precious. God bless.

    Hi Al, just read your devotional and just want you to know that loneliness effects us all and your testimony encourages me to seek Him always.

    Your devotional was just what I needed. My wife of 40 years has inoperable cancer and without a miracle happening I will be in the same place as you sooner than later! Your devotional gave me hope and I am saving it to read again later.

    Hi Alan: Well I am alone too and busy, as I do various activities and go to 2 bible studies, which keep me busy. Also have a lot of friends. Now I would love to do ballroom dancing, but need a partner. Interested? Who knows we could win maybe a trophy or a broken leg, ha ha. Anyways just a thought.

    Dear Allan,
    I live in a retirement facility. There are many like yourself who have moved here after the death of a spouse.
    They have difficulty in handling their situation. It is difficult to see their distress. You are right to draw near to the Lord, who is closer than a brother. What a blessing He is to us. Thanks for sharing this very personal experience. I will remember you in prayer.

    Hi Alan
    I never had the pleasure of being married but your questions remind me of the story of the little boy who said his prayers and his Mummy said now go to sleep and remember Jesus is with you.
    A little later she heard him sobbing and asked why. He said “I know Jesus is here but I want someone with skin on.”
    I hope each day is getting easier.

    Dear Allen,
    I am a daily reader of the Presbyterian articles and can feel empathy for you.
    I lost my husband after over sixty years of marriage. I remarried an older man and he died after less than three years of marriage.
    But God gives strength for each day. Those of us who had our heavenly Father as our guide can find so much comfort in our faith.
    May God continue to be with you.
    May you rest in Him.

    This spoke to my heart. I lost my husband of almost 27 years several years ago and now I am remarried to a wonderful gentleman. It is a very, very dark place but God brought me through it and continues to do so. It is a sweet sadness amongst all of God’s current and ongoing blessings. One never forgets but we do learn to manage and the pain becomes easier and sometimes no longer exists. I still have melancholy moments but now I also have joy again. Hang in there. It is true he will never leave us. I held onto Jeremiah 29:11 to survive. And I thank God for this verse and held him to it. God Bless you! I will pray for your healing and peace.

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us today. As your scripture passages assure us, God never intended for us to be alone. We were created for companionship by a loving Father. God lovingly sent us his Holy Spirit as our Comforter and Helper after our fall from grace; to bridge the gap between heaven and earth. It is good that you have experienced some relief from your grief by resting in the arms of God. What a glorious day it will be when you are reunited with your lovely wife/life-mate (as two do become one flesh) once again to see her smile, hear her voice, and share her embrace for all eternity. How fortunate you are to be a Believer. May God bless you and hold you tenderly as He mends your broken heart.

    Good morning, Allan,
    I read your devotional this morning and thought it most helpful. I am a retired Presbyterian Minister with a special ministry with seniors, (being one myself is an asset), with special emphasis on those who are unable to attend worship and fellowship events at the church because of chronic illness or physical/mental limitations. Many of these are widows or widowers and we have had discussions about the topic you deal with in your devotional. Because you have ‘hit the nail on the head’ so to speak, and have verbalized it so well I would like to use what you have written with some of the folks I visit. I am hoping to organize a grief recovery group in the Fall and this would be a wonderful piece to include with the resources etc.
    I pray your day will be blessed in many ways as I am sure your devotional this morning has blessed other lives than just mine. Peace & blessings.

    Hi Allan and congratulations on having a loving wife for 51 years. I am so sorry for your loss, but pleased that you have such wonderful memories and a caring family and friends. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, indeed comforts us and puts new experiences in our paths to help us to get through the loneliness that is bound to occur with loss, because we are human.
    I have been widowed three times and was fortunate enough to have three wonderful men. Unfortunately, God needed them more than He thought I did.
    Through these years, I have realized that it is our job to be open to the possibility of change while still holding on to the memories! My prayer for you would be that you ALWAYS feel your wife’s presence, especially through the tough times, knowing that she is watching over you and would want you to get on with your life! Finally, I appreciate living alone. It is a place I can be with my pets and REST from the busyness of the days as I thank God for all of the love that He has given me.
    God Bless.

    Thank you for your devotional, Allan. My condolences on the loss of your beloved life partner, your wife of 51 years.
    Thank you for telling it like it is for so many, and perhaps opening the eyes of those who often suggest that “you should be over it by now”.
    As with any loss, there’s no “getting over it”, but a process of travelling the path of “going through it and coming out the other side”, of finding their “new normal”, and, as you state, our faith in our God is of great help and healing. It’s usually much tougher for those who have no faith.
    May your love of God, and the support of friends and family, keep you on your path of learning to live with the “Lonely/aloneness”.

    Allan, Thank you for sharing the depth and purity of your love,
    May our loving Father fill you with his comforting Blessed Assurance.

    Dear Allan,
    Thanks you for sharing your thoughts on living alone. It is true that we are meant to have companionship in our lives and blessed when we find a life long partner. After almost 16 years of living as a widow (my husband died at only 53) I still find the empty house a difficult experience, especially after being away with friends where we ate and fellowshipped together. You are focusing on all the right things and it is indeed true that the Lord Jesus is always with us, day after day.

    I just read your devotional and a similar one today, both about loss of a loved one. With me it was four deaths in several months. Another cousin phoned to say that the body and back pack of his son, who had been missing for several months, had just been found.
    Yes they are in a far better place, yet I am in tears and feel exhausted. Some other relatives are seriously ill. Being in church and singing in the choir helped. E-mails from my family helped. Though messages were brief, what they said was a blessing.

    Thank you for the comforting words of experience. You described my life exactly. I’m thankful every day for the blessings of family, church, and pray every day for the continuing presence of the Holy Spirit. This PCC program is supportive with timely counselling.

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