When I went off to college, that was the loneliest day of my life. I was in a new environment. I did not know anyone. I really did not feel anyone cared. They say the loneliest people in the world are widowers. Men who lose their spouse seem to have a harder time dealing with the loss and the loneliness than women who lose their mate. Ironically, it is possible to feel very lonely in the midst of a crowd.

Have you ever been in the dumps? Ever been lonely? Can you identify with the Joe Bayly’s sentiments?

I’m alone Lord—alone—a thousand miles from home. There’s no one here who knows my name—except the clerk—and he spelled it wrong. No one to eat dinner with, laugh at my jokes, listen to my gripes, be happy with me about what happened today and say, “That’s great.” No one cares. There’s just this lousy bed and slush in the street outside between the buildings. I feel sorry for myself and I’ve plenty of reason to. Maybe I ought to say, “I’m on top of it,” “Praise the Lord,” “Things are great,” but they’re not. Tonight it’s all gray slush. (Psalms of My Life, P. 16)

The Psalmist expressed these sentiments, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” Then he adds these words, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalms 43:5, NIV) Jesus’ disciples were downcast and disappointed, because told them He was leaving them. He admonished them, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” Jesus could say that because He was sending the Comforter, i.e. the Holy Spirit so they, and we, would not be alone. We find in both the Old and New Testaments this promise from God, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.