I feel so….
Fill in the blank. Angry? Restless? Afraid? Single? Forgotten?
I wish so much to just share this with someone—one person, that would be enough. That would be relief—to have someone who could understand and feel what I feel.
But no one understands.
This is loneliness. Feeling alone, regardless of circumstances or social setting. You’re alone somehow in your experience.
Frustrated, friendless, and tired, the songwriter in Psalm 55 talks to himself after lamenting his loneliness. As if he wants us to hear his whispered reminder too:
“Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22 ESV).
Though friends had failed him, the songwriter remembered an invitation, You can tell me.
He also remembered that with this Friend he did not have to reserve any thought or hold any emotion back—he could cast his burden upon this Someone, free from any fear of reproach.
Cast your burden on the Lord, though? Like, God? Where did this guy get such an idea? Surely if there is a God in Heaven, you may think, our concerns would not concern him. My concerns would not concern him. What brought such an idea to the songwriter’s mind?
He knew the Scriptures.
He believed that there was a time when the LORD God “walked among people in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8). He knew that even after our rebellion made our LORD invisible to us, some still knew what it was to walk with him (Genesis 5:24; Genesis 6:9). He still visited us, over, and over, and over again. One man, the LORD wrestled in the night (Genesis 32:22-28). With another, he shared the story behind the stars (Genesis 15:5-6). To another, he appeared often, always cloaked in fire (Genesis 2:3-6; Exodus 19:17-20). Of this man it was said that “the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11).
So our songwriter in his anguish counsels himself—Share it all with the Lord. He will understand. After all, he’s the Creator, who made our hurting hearts.
The wisest man on earth knew this to be true. He wrote, “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24 ESV).
You’ll see that the Bible gives other counsel—it reminds us God made us for community, it warns us not to isolate, it encourages us to experience the joy of giving over expecting, and it tells everyone who has Jesus Christ as his friend that we have the family of God as our brothers and sisters—the church.
We will talk about the importance of many of those things but first I want to introduce you to the friend above all friends, the friend of sinners.
If you think the Lord is far off, distant, mysterious, and made manifest only to a few, then you must turn to again to your Bible. One day, long after this song was written, the LORD appeared in flesh (John 1:14).
He lived, died, and rose from the dead, “that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18 ESV). For all who trust in the Lord Jesus, he says, “no longer do I call you servants…but I have called you friends.” And he invites us to call God our Father (John 15:15-16).
Before any of us had any concern for him, the Lord was concerned that we know him. So he came to take care of the burden we could not rid ourselves of, that estranged us from him—the burden of sin. That burden took the shape of the cross.
And if you will let him bear the burden of your sin, he will become many things to you—your Lord, and your Savior, your King, but also your friend.
He is the only one who can understand you fully down to the depths of your being. And, as the King of all things, he’s really the only one who can do anything about your loneliness, or anything else in your life. You will not find another Someone like him.
The first solution to the lonely heart is to know the friendship of the Lord. We were designed for this (Genesis 1:26-27). There is a garden within each of us called the human soul where God alone can walk. Sin has locked the door. But Christ knocks. To let him in is to have that Someone when feelings of loneliness return.
We have an answer to Loneliness. We can say, I will cast my burden on the Lord. I have a friend closer than a brother.
Do you know this friend of sinners? Would you believe today he has not only taken care of your burden of sin, if you trust him, but he is eager to have a relationship with you, if you will follow him (Matthew 11:28-29). And the wonderful news is, then he will never ever leave you alone (Psalm 139:7; Matthew 28:20; John 14:16).