Today is my birthday and I am thankful to the Lord for having spared my life. After all, many people did not live to reach the age that I have reached, especially after the rampage of the global covid pandemic. Undoubtedly, it is God who has kept me all of these years and so I thanked him this morning when I awoke. I thanked him for bringing me into this world according to the counsel of his will (nobody else’s) and for when he did. I asked that my life not be a wasted life but one that will bring him honour and glory. This pretty much echoes other prayers that I have prayed in the past, my main concern being to live a life of purpose, one that God regards as having been a success, despite my endless past mistakes and struggles.
On this day though, I have no illusions. I am supposed to be joyous and expected to do wonderful things to mark this milestone in celebratory spirit, yet a verse that I read randomly about two days ago and which I opened my Bible randomly to again this morning, resonates with me. This is because in my view, it is has been my life experience and accurately reflects how I feel.
The verse is Psalm 142:4. In this chapter, David poured out his heart to the Lord, letting him know how he had been feeling, what he was up against and asking for his help, at a point when he felt completely abandoned and uncared for.
One may ask the question, “Of all people, David? How could someone like him ever have felt abandoned and unloved?” They ask the question because it seems like David was this super great character in the Bible, good-looking with such a great purpose on his life, that he was anointed to be king of Israel.
Yet, despite who David was, that he had a close relationship and walk with God and was in fact described by him as a man after his own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22), although he had a great purpose on his life, there were times when he felt abandoned and not truly cared for and loved by the people around him. People may have said the words but when it came to actions and proving that they truly cared at times when he was down and out and needed them the most, David felt alone.
In verse 4 of Psalm 142, David said:
- “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was NO MAN that would know me: refuge failed me; NO MAN cared for my soul.”
This is exactly how I feel and have felt for many years. it is not just how I feel though. It is my reality. Search as I might, I can’t find people who I can honestly say, really care for my soul.
Now many people would be quick to object and to say that they do care and have done this or that for me on different occasions in my life. Yet, while people may certainly have done good things for me here and there, my question is, where have they been through those days, weeks, months and years, when I spent my days crying my eyes out and feeling utterly cast down because of the extent of my persistent troubles? Where were they when I was convinced that I had no more strength to go on, when I felt so low and so bad, that I wanted to just die and couldn’t find a word of support from anyone, only accusations, criticism, ridicule, condemnation and much gossip for entertainment purposes? Were they part of the masses who poked fun at my plight, looked down at me scornfully, spoke about my troubles unsympathetically and with elation every opportunity they got or with malicious hearts, jumped to all sort of conclusions behind my back, without ever even bothering to find out the truth of what I was going through or caring how I felt?
How is it that they could not discern the extent of my pain and if they did, just sat by at a distance and looked on or helped to forward or make worse my affliction? Were they part of the company that were so callous in their remarks, through my pain, that I labelled all of them, even as Job once did, as miserable comforters? When, not knowing what to do next and feeling completely overwhelmed, I cried ever single day for weeks and for months, where were these so-called ‘loving’ people? Why did I feel so abandoned, so forsaken, so alone and left to bear my burdens by myself? Did you even care to hear my story or were you one of the many who were content to hear and believe what someone said about me?
To be clear, I was not suffering from depression, the term that this secular world likes to coin once someone is down and hurting. I was suffering from aggressive attacks from the enemy who tried his best to take me out, to steal my faith, to make me believe and to render me utterly worthless and useless, his attempts made all the more worse by those who were supposed to care and supposed to be there for me, leaving me to handle it on my own or helping him with his diabolical agenda.
The fact of the matter is that after all is said and done, people like to come forward and say, “But I cared! If only she had come to me, I could have helped.” Yet, in reality, people like to speak about what they would have done and how they would have provided support, after the fact, when it is too late. I have practically been screaming for help for years, given the severity of my adversities and yet, no one cared enough to hear, much more to actually do something about it.
The reality is, when you are going through what they are going through, many people prefer to watch from a distance (some with popcorn in their hands), to jump to their own conclusions and even throw attacks at you, where they can, in conversation. The reality is that many people are left to bear their burdens on their own and this has generally been my portion. There have been days in retrospect, that I was so low that I did not even want to go on, yet all people did in my pain was pour salt in my already ailing wounds, making all that I had been going through, all the more painful. The remarks, the insults, the gossip, the criticizing statements, the lack of concern and care were woefully evident and debilitating on my spirit.
I am reminded from the scripture though, that I am not the only person that has been through what I have been through and to some extent, still am going through. David, a man after God’s own heart, also went through great adversities, experienced difficult times when he felt down and out and he too searched in vain for someone who really cared. He looked for someone who held genuine concern, out of a heart of love and compassion, for his soul but sad to say, could find none.
I am sure that there were people around him who it seemed that they cared but when he, as the person who was going through what he was going through, weighed it up in the balance, he came to the conclusion that none of them truly cared about him.
I have realized in my own experience, that, while there may be many people around you and about, it is hard to find people who truly care for your soul, who are rooting for your success and genuinely invested in you being spiritually victorious in this life. Not many people truly care about how things turn out holistically for you in life. They are to busy with their own affairs, too selfish to see outside of their own life bubble or insist on having a chip on their shoulder in relation to you and therefore, use your valley periods as opportunities to gloat, to take vengeance or as entertainment.
The few people that genuinely care (and it is a joy if you have them in your life!), hurt when you hurt, pray from their hearts and with bowels of compassion, about your situation, genuinely hoping that the Lord will intervene to raise you up from your circumstances, to his honour and glory. They don’t laugh behind your back or feign concern or tell you that they will keep you in prayer and for you to be strong and then run to spread your business to others for the fun of it and with malice.
David experienced this. There were those who pretended to care, who he trustingly took into his confidence but who then revealed what they were really about by going and spread his business in gossip abroad. No wonder David concluded in another Psalm, that no one cared for his soul. It is impossible to care for someone’s soul and to rejoice in their hurt, as so many people do today.
In Psalm 41: 5-9, David said:
- “Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish? And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it. All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt. An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more. Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.”
When you are down in the trenches and at your life’s lowest, people that really care for you are there with you, always hoping for the best for you and holding your hand in support, while feeding your spirit in love with the Word of God. If they perceive that you are being chastened and that there is need for rebuke, they will rebuke you but always in the spirit of love, them genuinely wanting to see you forgiven of the Lord through your repentance and delivered from your troubles.
Where are those people? Of a truth, they do exist and some people have been blessed to have them in their lives but they are exceedingly rare. If you are one such person that God has graced to have such support systems, what you have is valuable. Never take it for granted. Give God praise because there are many people, myself included, that have been going through life without such systems.
It is clear from the scriptures, that David is not the only person who experienced abandonment and ostracism and a low time in life. Paul experienced it as well. The common element in both accounts though, is that when people stood afar and turned their backs on them, so that they went through what they went through alone, GOD NEVER FORSOOK THEM. HE WAS THERE WITH THEM. HE STILL LOVED THEM, CARED FOR THEM AND SUSTAINED THEM. IN THE BLACKEST OF NIGHTS, HE WAS THEIR LIGHT.
This was why David said in verse 5 of Psalm 142, therefore, him having no one else, “I cried unto thee O, Lord: I said, THOU art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.”
David realized that with all the people around him, he truly had no one but the Lord. Only the Lord could be counted to stand with him through thick and thin, given his awesome faithfulness.
In 2 Timothy 4:16-18, Paul reflected on his troubles and how he too had been utterly abandoned by those around him, left to painfully bear what he was going through, on his own. He stated:
- “At my first answer NO MAN stood with me, but ALL MEN forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me…”
As I type these verses, I am tearful because it accurately reflects my experience. Years of career turbulence (most of which I suffered for holding fast to my integrity in a crooked and corrupt work environment, refusing to compromise and insisting on doing what was right in God’s sight), unemployment, financial troubles, sickness troubles, singleness and loneliness troubles, people troubles and inner troubles and I can truthfully say, that only the Lord consistently stood with me. Only he truly cared about my soul. Having had to go through most of these trials, for the most part, alone, I can honestly say that He and nobody else, consistently gave me the encouragement and strength I needed to go on, to face another day.
If you are going through a low period in your life or feel overwhelmed by the storms that seem to relentlessly pound you, as they have me, for many years, if you are hurting, as I have, over how people have treated you in your pain, look up. People will always disappoint but God never does. He loves you with an everlasting love and as the all-powerful one, he has the strength to sustain you and to bring you out of all of your troubles.
Paul boldly and victoriously declared, although he had no one but the Lord to help him in his trouble, him having been abandoned by all“…and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” (vs. 5)
God is able to do the same for me and for you. As an outcast, I can tell you, that you may have no one on earth who truly cares two cents about you or your life or who is prepared to take the time to understand what you are about. No one may be rooting for your life success but God does. He cares about all the outcasts, those who have been forsaken, abandoned and ostracized.
In Jeremiah 30:17, through his prophet, he told his people who were down and out and had been forsaken by all, as hopeless:
- “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom NO MAN seeketh after.”
As many people have had the misfortune of experiencing, this life can be quite lonely and unwelcoming. Some have many true friends and have been blessed to be surrounded with good and loving support systems but many people don’t. Many people are forced to face each day on their own, to fend for themselves and to muster the strength to get up off of their beds and place one foot in front of the other, even when based on “appearances”, things look different.
Life is hard and it can be cruel. Even as God came through for David and for Paul though, he can come through for you. Even as he has been there on those days that I felt I was drowning in pain, was looked down at, abandoned, ostracized, considered a hopeless outcast and harshly criticized by others without knowing or caring to know the whole truth of my story, even when I searched in vain to find someone who cared more about me than gossip, who understood my pain, felt my grief and genuinely wanted to see me rise above my circumstances, God wants to be there for you. When nobody else can help or care enough to truly do so, he can come through for you.
From my own experience and from those mentioned above, he offers strength, sustenance, encouragement, comfort, compassion, wise counsel, rebuke (where necessary) and protection, to all of his children. People may turn their backs on you a million times but God will never do so. People may betray you and disappoint you and hurt you but God never will.
If you have not yet asked God’s Son the Lord Jesus Christ to come into your life and save you, then he offers first and foremost, salvation for your soul, through Jesus. This puts you into precious relationship with him, where he adopts you into his divine family and undertakes to take care of you and sustain you, in moving forward.
If you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ into your life therefore, I want to show you how you can do so. Simply go to my ‘SINGLE Daughers” page and read any of the ‘Abundant Life’ Articles there. There is a chronology there to guide you through as to the numbering and name of each Article.
Should you accept the free offer of the Lord Jesus, by faith, for him to reign in your life as Lord, this will be the beginning of something beautiful. It will represent a turn, a shift, in your life. Troubles will continue to come, as he has not promised a bed of roses and there is a devil out there that hates those who belong to the Lord. However, you will no longer have to bear your burdens alone. Like David and Paul attested, God will be your refuge. He will strengthen and sustain you. He will help you.
What he told his people through his prophet in Isaiah 41:9-10 and 17 will become applicable to you. He told them, although they had been rejected, forsaken and abandoned by all:
- “Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness… When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God if Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, That THE HAND OF THE LORD HATH DONE THIS, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it”.
(Written on 08th February, 2024)
As is usually the case, people conveyed to me their happy birthday greetings and well-wishes. Some who usually do, didn’t even bother this year and I may have more respect for them being honest, than for those who decided to pretend to care.
Isn’t it amazing, that people can faithfully do what they regard as their routine duty, so that although they have practically ignored you all year, treated you badly, maliciously or with indifference or have failed to be there for you at your lowest, darkest moments, they can turn up for your birthday, to send you greetings, to wish you well and to even go so far as to buy you a card or some other kind of present. They do this and expect you to be so grateful and moved by their kind one-day gesture but truth be told, I am not.
These so-called ‘acts of kindness’ hold little meaning or merit to me because they come from people who have left me for many years, to fend for myself, when I was drowning in pain and needed their help, love and support the most. Some of them were responsible for making the hurt worse, by badmouthing me, insulting me, attacking me, belittling me, jumping to conclusions without the facts, spreading my business, putting me down in the eyes of others so that they could promote themselves or regarding my pain as reason for entertainment. To this day, many of them have not even yet genuinely repented, yet, when my birthday comes along, they suddenly remember that I am alive and that they are supposed to care and pour out well-wishes.
I politely thank them but rarely does it ever mean anything to me. For, perhaps with the exception of a very few people that I can count on less than half of one hand, the rest of so-called ‘well-wishers’, have proved time and time again, that they don’t really care for me, that they are not rooting for my holistic success and that I am not at all important to them.
Of a truth, some of them I have been trying for years and in vain, to mend bridges with and they have refused with hardened hearts, to let bygones be bygones. Yet, on my birthday, they show up, say what they have to say from their lips and not their heart and then disappear again, wanting nothing to do with me.
Words are just words and kind actions that are not preceded by consistent kind, loving and supporting behaviour, don’t really mean anything to me. I look at how people treat me on a day-to-day basis, not just on my birthday. This determines what well-wishes I should ascribe value to. Wishing me well for my birthday because it is expected and is the norm, when on other days, you treat me like a dog, like dirt, like a worm and scum, means nothing to me. Sending me birthday greetings and blessings on my birthday, when you have been in the habit of disrespecting and insulting me or just plain ignoring and belittling me and my pain, as if I am invisible, have no worth and don’t matter, does not resonate with my heart. This is because your greetings come across to me as a show, a mere performance. The genuine love is not there. The genuine concern is not there, so why bother?
People may do things for my birthday but on most days, I still feel incredibly alone, unloved, uncared for and abandoned. When you are loved and cared for, you know it. As I have said in an earlier Article, love does not hide itself. Wherever it is, people know. It is not boastful but it is impossible for it to hide or to be disguised. If you are searching for it therefore and can’t seem to find it, this is because it is not there.
And if love is not there, then all that most of these people do for me, is self-serving, a charade, a pretence and a performance.
It is clear to me still, from my experience, that no man really cares for my soul. David made the declaration after having analyzed his circumstance and so have I. I hope against hope, that one day, the Lord will intervene to change this but at the moment, this is my reality. There are many people around me but I am facing life alone.
People may feign concern for self-serving, ulterior motives or just to fit in with routine and expectations. Others may care about your looks, your body, your position in life, your bank account, your affiliations, what they think you can do for them and other earthly things of no real significance but when it comes to your soul, it is hard to find people that truly care for you to that extent. Yet, this is the level of caring that matters. All other claims of caring are false.
Some feel a bit of concern intermittently and fleetingly yes but at this juncture, having been through all that I have been through (and believe me, I have been through so much, that I can write a book), I am convinced that only Jesus really and truly and consistently cares about me, my welfare and my soul. Only he can be said to be truly in my corner. Only he is rooting for my spiritual and holistic success. This is why he is genuinely pained when I fail him or behave in ways that disappoint him.
It is because Jesus cares for my soul, that I feel safe to be vulnerable in his presence. I can let my defences down with him, knowing that he will not make fun of my hurt, my sadness and that he genuinely wants to bring comfort and healing. He genuinely wants to see me victorious in this life because he love me with an everlasting love. I can’t say this for people. Sadly, due to what I have experienced from people, I have felt constrained to put up a guard whenever I am around them, so as to try to protect myself from more hurt.
All and in all, I have learned after everything that I have been through and still go through, that “…vain is the help of man.” Yet, “Through God we shall do valiantly: For he it is that shall tread down our enemies.” (Psalm 60:11-12).
(Addendum written on 12th February, 2024)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, beneficial or edifying, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 8 – ‘Wounded Soldiers – Will You Just Pass By?’
- Note 25 – ‘The Bummer Lamb’
- Note 28 – ‘It’s Not A Big Deal Or Is It?’
- Note 31 -‘A Magnificent Work Of Grace’
- Note 38 – ‘Is Your Family Dysfunctional?’
- Note 41 – ‘Do You Feel Broken?’
- Note 45 – ‘Mocking Motivates Me’
- Note 49 – ‘Am I Beyond Hope?’
- Note 50 – ‘Hedged In: A Sea Of Hurt’
- Note 54 – ‘Afflicted And Tossed With Tempest’
- Note 64 – ‘The God That Never Leaves Us Or Forsakes Us’
Also, under the ‘Single Daughters’ page:
- Note 14 – ‘ Feeling Depressed? Realign Your Focus!‘
- Note 26 – ‘Musings From The Pit – Praise Your Way Out…‘
- Note 28 – ‘The Fivefold Purpose Of Suffering‘
- Note 29 – ‘Facing Adversity? – Go Through It…‘
- Note 42 – ‘When That Door Wouldn’t Budge’
- Note 56 – ‘Making Sense Of The Awful Stillness – The Process Of Metamorphosis’
- Note 122 – ‘The Woman Who Wanted A Baby – Key Points From Hannah’s Story’
- Note 97 – ‘Do You Feel Like You Have Fallen Through The Cracks?‘
- Note 98 – ‘Who Or What Are You Depending On?‘
- Note 108 – ‘Pain – God’s Tool For Our Spiritual Development’
- Note 109 – ‘And These Stones Shall Be For A Memorial Of What He Brought Me Through‘
- Note 120 – ‘Tired of the Storm, Sterility, Stagnancy and Silence? – Create a Spiritual Safe House’
- Note 142 – ‘Single Woes – The Battles We Singles Fight Everyday’
- Note 151 – ‘Have You Fallen But Desire To Get Back Up?‘
- Note 153 – ‘When A Sister Or Brother In The Church Rejects You‘
- Note 160 – ‘When Serving God Doesn’t Seem To Make Sense’
- Note 169 – ‘When Those Closest To You Don’t Encourage And Support You‘
- Note 171 – ‘If That Tree Could Talk‘
- Note 186 – ‘The Pain I Felt In My Series Of Pit Experiences’
- Note 193 – ‘God Calls Me Hephzibah’
- Note 194 – ‘It Is Well’
- Note 195 – ‘When God Promises To Write-On A Write-Off‘
- Note 196 – ‘A Hopeless End Or An Endless Hope?’
- Note 197 – ‘Left For Dead… Then Resurrected’
- Note 199 – ‘God Comforted Me!‘
- Note 211 – ‘Dear Christian, Ever Felt Like You Had No One?‘
- Note 214 – ‘Your Story Is For His Glory’
- Note 215 – ‘Our Difficulty Is God’s Opportunity‘
- Note 216 – ‘Death Must Come Before The Resurrection’
- Note 217 – ‘From Bad…To Worse…To Deliverance‘
- Note 219 – ‘Dear Wall…’
- Note 277 – ‘When Family Disappoints’
- Note 279 – ‘Do You Feel Disappointed By God?’
- Note 280 – ‘Ostracism By Fellow Brothers And Sisters’
- Note 289 – ‘My Jabez Prayer’
- Note 293 – ‘Overcoming Oppression – Spiritual Warfare‘
- Note 296 – ‘Face Like Flint – Songs Of Deliverance’
- Note 298 – ‘Arm Yourself – Suffering Is Part of The Christian’s Story’
- Note 299 – ‘Foxes, Grasshoppers And The Spirit Of Discouragement‘
- Note 303 – ‘What Is Love, Really?‘
- Note 308 – ‘Fair Weather People’
- Note 309 – ‘Comfortable Being Vulnerable – I’m Safe With Him‘
- Note 324- ‘He Has Not Forgotten Me!’
Also, under the ‘Bible-Believing Daughters’ page:
- Note 171 – ‘Dear Peninnah’