When You Feel Painfully Alone


There are painful times in life when it seems that all we can do is grasp for some sort of encouragement to get us through the present moment. These times can either be full of a flood of excess emotion or the opposite absence of emotion. Both are a sign of a heart in intense pain. It can be hard to tell which way is up, and time is blurry and abstract. It can be hard to have vision for the current day, let alone the grand scheme of life.

If you aren’t in a time of life like this right now, chances are you have been or will be in not too terribly long. As believers, how are we to navigate through these dark nights of the soul when all our hearts want to do is shut down?

I would suggest that these are the times that we most need to gaze on the Man Christ Jesus. I have heard many fling the accusations at God for the hardship and sorrow of life, but in reality He is the One who most intimately knows our suffering.

He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:3-4

I have read this passage in Isaiah about the Suffering Servant countless times, but just recently it touched me in such a personal way – He knows that isolating thing called sorrow and the drowning feeling of grief. Not only is He familiar with it as a man, but He bore MY grief and MY sorrow. He isn’t just acquainted with it in the abstract sense of knowing what it is, He intimately knows exactly what I am struggling through and is compassionate towards me.

I want to encourage you – the God that you serve drew near to you. He intimately knows the details about you. He knows what makes your heart come alive. Likewise, He knows the pain that shuts down your heart and terrifies you of losing control completely. In your very deepest pain, He comes along side you and offers to carry your sorrow, if you will let Him. Will you let Him carry it for you when it is too much to carry on your own? He isn’t a fair weather friend. He is willing to be with you in the middle of the muck and the ugly cry and the lack of motivation to go on. He is patient. He is compassionate. He is trustworthy. He longs to take your pain, so you don’t have to walk alone. He knows how it feels to be alone – all His friends abandoned Him when it got too hard too.

Right now is the perfect time to ask Him for help with that load you have been carrying. Remember, He said,

Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy-ladden
and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

You can trust Him with your heart.

7 Responses to When You Feel Painfully Alone
  1. Mandy
    May 21, 2013 | 7:13 am

    This is great encouragement, Charis. Thank you!

    • Charis
      May 21, 2013 | 4:28 pm

      you are welcome. just sharing right now from the overflow of life. thanks for your comment mandy.

  2. Santiago H. Harvey
    May 21, 2013 | 8:58 pm

    Do you remember the story of the blind man in John 9? The Jews believed that birth defects were a curse from God. One day, “His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi [Jesus], who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.’ ” (John 9:2,3, insertion mine) The blind man suffered from the curse of sin which came into this world through Adam. The blind man was a victim of sin’s radiation. Jesus made it clear that the blind man was not suffering from a particular sin on his part or that of his parents. We live in a world cursed by sin and every deformity and every crime testifies to this curse. The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that God can make lemonade out of lemons! How many times have you seen a disabled person do something extraordinary? What you are actually seeing is the gift of God displayed in that person’s life.

  3. Dawn St Amand Paoletta
    May 23, 2013 | 7:28 pm

    Charis, absolutely beautiful. I am learning some of the hard lessons of faith right now…the suffering- yet I know it is growing my intimacy and roots deep. Just right on words, my friend.

  4. Blaine Barrett
    May 24, 2013 | 12:33 am

    Consider the life and ministry of Billy Graham as He looked back over his life: “Although I have much to be grateful for as I look back over my life, I also have many regrets. I have failed many times, and I would do many things differently. For one thing, I would speak less and study more, and I would spend more time with my family. When I look back over the schedule I kept thirty or forty years ago, I am staggered by all the things we did and the engagements we kept…Were all those engagements necessary? Was I as discerning as I might have been about which ones to take and which to turn down? I doubt it…Although much of that travel was necessary, some of it was not.

  5. Gina
    May 30, 2013 | 8:04 pm

    Charis, this is very encouraging, thank you for sharing. Many people feel this way, a lot, myself included. Getting through those valley times through pressing into God is easier said then done. Sometimes I feel like I need Jesus to be more real than He seems in those low times. Perhaps is is an art to be learned.

  6. Christopher James
    August 4, 2013 | 3:32 am

    When I’m feeling miserable, I always run up to Him. Works all the time..