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When You’re All Alone and Blue

When I was growing up I was a fan of Johnny Cash. Even though I never met him in person, I enjoyed listening to his songs on the radio and watching him on television. I always wanted to be able to play the guitar and sing just like him—I could almost hear myself hitting those low notes and impressing people with my talent by singing “Daddy Sang Base.” Obviously I never made the big time, although I did try my hand at guitar strumming for awhile and I still have that old big bodied Yamaha guitar that I paid about $150 for over four decades ago when it was shiny new and fresh off the shelf. I finally figured out it was best for me to leave the picking and singing to those with talent. That guitar now sits dormant and the case has not been opened for a long time.

A popular song recorded by Mr. Cash decades ago included the lyrics “When you’re all alone and blue, no one to tell your troubles to, remember me, I’m the one who loves you.” Perhaps we have all been in one situation or another in which we felt alone and hopeless. In those seasons, the genuine presence and care of another can be a life saving boost. That song was not of a religious nature, but it does remind me of the nearness and love of God to see us through the lonely and difficult times of life.

As I reflect on people of God going through lonely times, I am reminded that the Bible records the accounts of numerous individuals who faced times when they must surely have felt forsaken by everyone. Included among them is the Old Testament prophet Elijah. He was a man who had been used powerfully by God and had seen tremendous miracles brought about by the power of God, yet he found himself at a low time in life. It was such a dreary time for him that he felt that his life was useless: “He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep” (1 Kings 19:4-5, New International Version). Thankfully God did not take his life because He still had work for Elijah to do. But what happened that enabled the prophet to pull out of his depressed state and find renewed strength to press on?

One thing that happened was that through it all, God never took His eyes off Elijah. When the man of God lay down under the tree in weariness and despair, an angel of God came and touched him and spoke to him (1 Kings 19:5). God also provided sustenance for him when there was none—Elijah looked and found that bread and water had been placed by his head for his consumption (19:6). As a result of God meeting his need, Elijah was given strength to carry on when his own strength had been depleted: “So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God” (19:8).

Your circumstances are different from Elijah’s, but God is the same for you today as He was to Elijah way back then. So always remember that when you are all alone and blue, you have One that loves you and will be there for you.