By Dr. Charles E. Kinder
As the newest variant of COVID-19 continues to limit our movements, countless numbers of people remain isolated or alone. This reminds me of a song that contains these lyrics – “I don’t know a thing in this whole wide world that’s worse than being alone” (“Where No One Stands Alone” by Mosie Lister). As we fight this virus a few people are terrified. Some are fearful. Others are restless. Some will need counseling. Many people of faith are fearless and at peace. I had an older 2nd cousin whose husband died when I was a child. About 40 years later my wife and I were visiting her in her small second floor flat in Logan, West Virginia. I said, “You’ve been alone for several decades. How have managed living alone for so long? She replied, “I have never been alone. My God is with me every day and night.” I pray that more of us might have that kind of faith.
Some enjoy being alone, but most people need people. We are gregarious by nature. Another song says “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world” (“People” by Appice, Stein, Bogert, Martell). So, if its true that we need people, how can we handle being alone? Here are three suggestions:
Count your blessings
On the top of a sheet of paper write these old lyrics:
“When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed. When you are discouraged thinking all is lost. Count your many blessings. Name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” (“Count Your Blessings” by Johnson Oatman)
Below this make two lists:
– On one write the names of people who have been a blessing to you.
– On the other write the good things that have happened to you throughout your life.
Never complete either list.
Add to them as someone, or something, comes to mind.
Make them your prayer list and thank God daily for the wonderful people who came your way and for the good things that have happened to you.
Thank someone for the contribution they made to your life.
In person, by telephone, e-mail, or letter.
I was not academically prepared for college. I learned very little in public school. I was in 18 schools in 12 years. The first week of my college experience one professor took the time to inform my freshman class how to get the most out of college: how to listen to lectures, how to take notes, how to write essays and how to take tests. Many years later she came into my thoughts, so I called her and thanked her. I said, “I was not college material, but because you taught my freshman class how to get the most out of college I did well. I followed your instructions and received honors”. Incidentally, she was 80 years old and still teaching at Morris Harvey College in Charleston, W.Va.
Does someone like this come to your mind?
Tell God Thanks
Thank God for the way you have been blessed, protected, encouraged and guided even when you were not aware God was anywhere near.
Express gratitude to the good Lord for the fact that you are loved by your Creator.
Finally, in sincere prayer, tell God that you believe we will not only survive this crisis, but that something good will come forth as people support one another and become more aware the Creator. As it was throughout history, when there is nowhere else to go, people turn to God. I believe countless millions are doing just that around the world today.
Believe God is with you
Thank God we are never alone. Believe this truth and be at peace. Stand on it and do not be afraid. God is with you and will never forsake you. Hallelujah!
Rev. Dr. Charles E. Kinder is President Emeritus of The Foundation for Evangelism. He was instrumental in growing the ministry of the Foundation from 1977-1989, during which time programs such as The Harry Denman Evangelism Awards, Discover God’s Call, and the E. Stanley Jones Professors of Evangelism were begun. Dr. Kinder is a retired minister from the Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. He and his wife and partner in ministry, Phyllis live in North Florida.