But I am lowly and in pain; let your salvation, O God, protect me. (Psalms 69:29 NRSV)

Sometimes we mistakenly think that we can be fulfilled in life by acquiring things. The story of the rich young man in Matthew 19:16 tells us that there is more to life than possessions.

There are times when we want to blame our pain and loneliness on the world or on people who control our lives. We also mistakenly think that more popularity will cure our pain and loneliness.

People who are perceived as having it all, like the rich young man, still live with pain and loneliness. I remember in the play YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN, why Charlie Brown hates lunchtime.

I think lunchtime is about the worst time of the day for me. Always having to sit here alone. Of course, sometimes mornings aren't so pleasant, either--waking up and wondering if anyone would really miss me if I never got out of bed. Then there's the night, too--lying there and thinking about all the stupid things I've done during the day. And all those hours in between--when I do all those stupid things. Well, lunchtime is among the worst times of the day for me. Well, I guess I'd better see what I've got. (He opens the bag, unwraps a sandwich, and looks inside.) Peanut butter. (He bites and chews.) Some psychiatrists say that people who eat peanut butter sandwiches are lonely. I guess they're right. And if you're really lonely, the peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth.

Loneliness is painful, but God can help us cope!

Loving God, bring me hope, as you help me cope with the pain of life. In Jesus name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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