Isolated in an exam room while waiting for my doctor (who was running very late!), I was a victim of the ‘canned music’ that played throughout the office. I must admit, it wasn’t too bad for a baby boomer like me, since most of the tunes were those I enjoyed in years gone by.
God often speaks to me by causing a song to begin playing in my head, so I’ve become very careful about what music I listen to, not wanting a re-play of something I’ve heard recently to ‘get stuck’ and drown out what He might want to say. For example, have you ever had a particularly obnoxious jingle from a television commercial lodge itself in your brain? Over, and over, and over those words repeat, and nothing seems to erase the recording except time. I’d much rather listen to His Melodies of Love, which I’ve written about previously.
But on this day, my ears were subjected to one tune after another that spoke of loneliness, loss, and depression. Initially it was the whining words of Bob Dylan:
Go ’way from my window
Leave at your own chosen speed
I’m not the one you want, babe
I’m not the one you need
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Never weak but always strong
To protect you an’ defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe
What a contrast to God’s promises!
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. Deuteronomy 31:6
Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Next there was the amazing voice of Sam Cooke belting out Another Saturday Night, a song I’ve always enjoyed, but one that is nevertheless an expression of loneliness.
Another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody
I got some money ’cause i just got paid
How I wish I had someone to talk to
I’m in an awful way
Such terrible loneliness was also expressed by Bobby Vinton:
Lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
I have nobody for my own
I am so lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
Wish I had someone to call on the phone
When we live in the truth of the absolute presence of the Lord, loneliness is vanquished. it has no chance against the word of God, as expressed in Psalm 139: 1-12:
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me,and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
Finally, and perhaps the saddest commentary of all, John Lennon’s Help poured out through the speakers. The song was released in 1965, and blasted incessantly from every radio on its way to the top of the charts. A year later, I remember clearly my disappointment and revulsion when Lennon declared that God is dead and that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. Aligned with the things of the world, and delving into drugs, sex, and New Age philosophies for his help, it’s doubtful that he ever found what he really needed before his murder in 1980, at just forty years of age. Our lives do not have to be a such a hopeless testimony of loneliness because we can find our help in Jesus. All we have to do is ask Him in.
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20