Alone. I’ve felt that way a lot. Who hasn’t? But what about when you’re surrounded by people?
You’re sitting by a campfire roasting a hot dog while your friends and family are chit-chatting about the last time you all got together; cousin Polly used sour cream to make deviled eggs when she ran out of mayonnaise, hoping no one would notice.
There’s laughter but it’s too light for you to hold onto, too difficult to join in. Besides, you’re concentrating on getting your hot dog just right. Not really. You’re focused on those golden flames as they lick the night air, wishing you could scream or cry. Maybe both. Instead, you just sit there as a part of the group knowing you’re totally apart from it.
Your mind is full. Your heart is heavy. You can’t explain it. Not to any of them. They don’t even see it. You smile at the right times. Nod your head when you need to agree. And you go on pretending that everything is okay even when it’s not.
You feel totally alone. Like no one would “get it” if you opened up and spilled the beans right next to the hot dogs. So you externally include yourself while internally you’re so far away they don’t even know it.
Alone. Totally alone in your thoughts and struggles. No one knows the real you and you don’t know how to let anyone in.
But God sees you.
God sees you right where you are with that hot dog that’s starting to burn. But you’re ignoring it because the tears are starting to come and you don’t want to turn away because someone might see. God knows everything that’s disappointed you and everyone that’s hurt you. He knows every failed dream and the one closest to your heart that you’re too afraid to pursue. He knows the scar tissue that’s hardened your heart and why you’re struggling to get rid of those walls you’ve put in place to keep people away.
He’s sitting beside you right now. His Holy Spirit is within you; He’s the One holding you and comforting you from the inside, helping you to keep it all together when you feel it’s all going to fall apart.
He’s got you. You don’t have to do it alone.
Have you ever noticed a couple in a crowd, one that’s connected so deeply you can tell they’re together by the secret conversations they have with a single glance? Their interlocked fingers held in a gentle embrace. The tender smiles reserved exclusively for one another. They almost seem to fade into the background of the room, untouched by the surrounding conversations. It’s as if they’re lost in the crowd when actually they’re losing themselves in each other.
Together. Solid. In sync.
That’s you and God. Your Creator. The One who knows you better than anyone else. And He’s not going anywhere. Not ever. So that would mean you’re never alone.
Not even in a crowd.
“God is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t worry.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 MSG.)