Winter can be a lonely time, can’t it?
The joyful symphony of birdsong that graced the spring and summer months has diminished. In these parts, most birds have already flown south for the winter by now. The backyards and parks seem unnaturally quiet, with nary a chirp to be heard.
It can leave us feeling bereft, like we’re all alone.
But we’re never as alone as we might think, as we’ll see from some encouraging accounts in the Bible.
The prophet Elijah went through a time when he felt terribly alone. He was fleeing for his life from Queen Jezebel, who had vowed to kill him. While Elijah was in a cave in the wilderness, God spoke to him:
“But the Lord said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’
“Elijah replied, ‘I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.’ ” ( 1 Kings 19:9-10 NLT, my italics)
Elijah thought he was the sole follower of God left, and was so discouraged he felt it was pointless to go on.
But God told Elijah that things weren’t as bad as he imagined:
“I still have left in Israel seven thousand followers who have not bowed their knees to Baal or kissed the images of him.” (1 Kings 19:18 NET)
Seven thousand? Elijah wasn’t as alone as he’d thought!
The same was true of the servant of the prophet Elisha, Elijah’s protege. The Syrian king was after Elisha, and during the night his army had secretly surrounded the city where Elisha was staying.
“When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. ‘Oh, sir, what will we do now?’ the young man cried to Elisha.
“ ‘Don’t be afraid!’ Elisha told him. ‘For there are more on our side than on theirs!’ ” (2 Kings 6: 15-16)
The problem was, the young man couldn’t see anyone on their side. All he could see were the enemy’s mighty forces. So Elisha asked God to enable the young man to see with his spiritual eyes.
”Then Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!’ The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.” (2 Kings 6:17 NLT)
Not only were Elisha and his servant not alone, the heavenly army with them actually outnumbered those in the enemy camp!
In our own lives, we’re never as alone as we suppose either.
In winter, we may feel like all the birds have abandoned us, but that’s not true. There are feathered friends like sparrows and cardinals who stay with us throughout the cold winter months. They never leave us.
In the same way, God never leaves us. He promised His people:
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)
His presence is always with believers in the form of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said:
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” (John 14:16 ESV)
God Himself is always with us, He can put faithful friends in our lives to support us, and He can send unseen heavenly reinforcements to aid us.
We’re never as alone as we might think!
© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.