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Loneliness can be Left Alone

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A famous poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox presents the journey though life as bitterly lonely by dint of the shallow selfishness of our fellow man. Indeed, while not universally true, Ella does strike a chord familiar to us all. It is easier to find people to celebrate with you than to find people to share your grief. However, the world Ella paints is missing the most vital ingredient, Fellowship with God. God is not like man, He is not a “fair weather friend”. He promises to be with us when the days are dreary and life is hard to live.

But now thus saith the LORD that created thee… that formed thee… ‘Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God… thy Saviour’ ~ Isaiah 43:1-3a

Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls [your salvation, your security] are continually before me. ~ Isaiah 49:15-16

So, here is Ella’s poem, which is from the perspective of one apart/away from God. And following it is a poem Ella could have written (if, indeed, she knew God’s tender-hearted compassion for every woman and every man); this poem is from the perspective of walk walking with the LORD.

Solitude

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of it’s own.

“I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.” ~ Psalm 6:6

Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.

Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.

There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Solitude (Re-Spirited)

Laugh, and the LORD laughs with you;
Weep, for you’re not alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But you can have the joy from God’s throne.

“Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.” ~ Psalm 119:151

Sing, the angels will answer;
Sigh, it wings fast to God’s ear.
God’s hosts do bound to a joyful sound,
And rush to wipe each tear

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.

Be glad, when your friend is Jesus;
Be sure, He’ll stay by your side.
In His love He’ll confine, your soul and mine,
He’ll rescue you from sorrow’s tide.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
One soul to give, look to God and LIVE!,
He’ll be there too, when you die.

There is room in the house of Jesus
For each sad and sin-sick heart,
Washed clean from sin, we can all go in
For He loved us from the start.

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These poems tell a tale of two perspectives. Without God, life can be and often is overwhelmingly depressive; especially for those who are sensitive enough to see the shallowness and capriciousness of many human relationships.

On the other hand, WITH God we can see life through a different lens. Yes, people are still fickle, but GOD is faithful. People change, they change they allegiances, they change their affections. But God remains the same forever. His love for us is both CONSTANT and CONSISTENT. Indeed, the Bible has several poems that declare this truth, here is one:

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For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
Hath shined in our hearts,
To give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
In the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
That the excellency of the power may be of God,
And not of us.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed;
We are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken;
Cast down, but not destroyed;
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus,
That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. ~ 2 Cor. 4:6-10

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Here is (part of) another:

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O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. ~ Psalm 139:1-10

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If we trust in God we can be sure that we’ll never be alone/lonely, for he has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”. God is our Heavenly Father and our true friend.

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