When You Are Feeling Alone
- July 23, 2012
- Robert Tamasy
My first trip to Europe is one I will never forget. Since I was going to attend a CBMC World Convention in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany, I had arranged to depart for Europe a week early and join my uncle and aunt in Budapest, Hungary, since they were seasoned travelers. Because my ethnic background is Hungarian, I was excited about seeing the country where my grandparents were born, as well as briefly visiting Giessen, Germany, where I was born while my father was serving in the U.S. Army.
The flight from Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. was uneventful, but when we landed in Stuttgart, Germany the pilot advised us the jet was having mechanical problems and could not complete the trip to Budapest. Instead, all passengers were shuttled to Frankfurt, Germany to arrange for an alternative flight.
I never felt so alone. On the bus to Frankfurt, listening to people speak in animated German, I hardly understood a word. “How will I figure out how to get a flight to Budapest?” I wondered. “And how will my uncle know when I arrive in Budapest? If he is not there, what will I do? I cannot speak Hungarian either!”
As you can imagine, this first international experience filled me with anxious thoughts. Eventually, all of my concerns were resolved. I gravitated toward other English-speaking travelers; we were able to receive directions about which airline would provide our connecting flight; and when I arrived in Budapest, my American-born uncle, who spoke fluent Hungarian, was waiting even though I was several hours late.
Have you ever experienced anything like that? Maybe it did not involve travel, but you might have been in the midst of a major project at work and felt isolated, totally alone without anyone to ask for help. Or you might have been struggling with a difficult personal matter by yourself – turmoil in your marriage, a seriously ailing child, overwhelming financial problems, or a major career crisis. How did you feel? And what did you do about the situation?
I have learned the Bible offers helpful assurances for what we should do in those “all alone” moments:
You are never truly alone. We can be in a crowd of thousands, yet feel totally alone. We might not see one familiar face, but God promises His followers no matter where they go, He will be with them. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
God will never abandon you. During our lifetimes we inevitably will confront uncertainty, sometimes even terrifying moments. But God promises to remain with His children, regardless of circumstances. “Be strong and courageous. So not be afraid or terrified…for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
We can never escape the presence of God. There is a saying, “You can run, but you cannot hide.” The Bible says this is true with God. We may be lost in the midst of a huge, unfamiliar city, alone in a hotel room, or at our desk at work, feeling overwhelmed. No matter where we are, God promises to be there for us. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there” (Psalm 139:7-10).
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.
1. Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt totally, utterly alone without one person you could turn to that you knew? What was that situation like for you? How did it make you feel?
2. Are you a person that enjoys having time alone, or one that feels a strong need to be around people as much as possible? Explain which of those you prefer – and why.
3. What is your reaction to the statements from the Bible that we are never truly alone, that God is always with us? Do you believe that? Why or why not? And if that is true, does it seem like good news – or bad news?
4. The Bible records several instances in which Jesus chose to go off by Himself to speak with God. Have you ever chosen to set aside specific time to pray and be alone with God? If so, what has that been like for you?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:
1 Kings 6:13; Matthew 4:1-11, 26:36-44, 28:20; Mark 1:35-37; Hebrews 13:5