November 10, 2017
Deuteronomy 31:6 - Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Loneliness is a nasty beastie.
From my experience on The Lutheran Hour, I know that there is no topic which generates more responses than the topic of loneliness. Loneliness grabs hold of the rich and poor, young and old, the popular and the outcast.
Here is one loneliness story you might like.
In Hurst, Texas, the parents of Graham Day were celebrating his eighth birthday with a party.
It wasn't the first time they had thrown Graham a party. They had tried two years ago when he had turned six. For that birthday bash they had sent out 19 invitations, and none of those invited showed up. Graham's mother, Jennifer, had made up one excuse after another to make her son feel better.
In actuality, she believes the other children are frightened by Graham's brother who has autism and can, at times, become explosive.
Still, that was then and this is now. Everybody is two years older, and the Days thought they would try again. And they ended up with the same results: nobody came. Only this time there was no way Jennifer could come up with explanations which held water. As for Graham, he said, "This always happens."
That was when Jennifer said she snapped. She said to herself, "This is not okay. This is not happening. I can fix this, and I've got to try." Jennifer and her husband went to the local police department and asked Lieutenant Mark Schwobel if he could "spare a man to help celebrate the birthday of a lonely boy who hopes to grow up and become an officer."
Officer Schwobel said he would come. Then he volunteered his crew ... and a few firemen as well.
Schwobel says that when they got to Graham's house, they turned on the squad cars' lights, hit the siren and .... well, wide-eyed Graham came running. He was in shock that all these important people had come for him. As a good host, he served pizza and cake and showed the men his gifts.
His mother says he has not yet come down from the high: the high of not being lonely.
Pretty touching, don't you think? Now I know the folk of these departments can't go to the birthday party of every lonely child, but I'm glad they went to this one. It was the right thing to do.
Long ago, shortly after humankind's fall into sin, the Lord looked at our fate, the pain, the loss, the loneliness, and the fires of damnation, and He said, "I can fix this. I've got to try." To that end, He sent His Son into this world to be with us, to reach, to rescue us, to forgive, and save us. All of these gifts were wonderful, but there is one more which ought not be ignored.
That gift is the Lord's presence. In the New Testament, Jesus says He is with us always; in the Old Testament, we have the Father's promise: "Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."
The world may desert us; best friends may betray us, but the Lord is here. He is waiting to hear our prayers, our fears, our terrors and then, having heard, give us the means to deal with them.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the world is filled with those who are alone or feel alone. May they be turned to see Your love and ongoing care for them. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Inside Edition on July 12, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries