Elizabeth Black’s book, Hand in Hand: Walking with the Psalms through Loneliness (Bright Sky Press) is a collection of short reflections on what God’s Word says about His stabilizing presence through the valley moments of our lives.
One of the most crippling facts about loneliness is we think we’re unique in it.”
Elizabeth Black knows what it means to be lonely. She is an expert at adapting to new surroundings. As a child, her family moved frequently; before she graduated from high school, she had been in seven different schools. When she married a man who was called into full-time ministry, new churches, neighborhoods, and frequent change became the norm. As she experienced these goodbyes and hellos, she began to study what the Bible says about loneliness.
“Because we often do not talk about it, we think we are alone,” Elizabeth writes. In many of the Psalms King David found relief from his moments of distress in the realization that God saw his suffering, bent His ear to listen, and rescued him. Elizabeth walks readers through such moments in her own life, sharing easily relatable stories and applying the truth and practical steps that helped her cope.
The Psalms were particularly comforting in those moments of loneliness for Elizabeth, even amid a community of good people. She began writing with raw honesty about the things we think but are afraid to speak out loud: feelings of loss, rejection, and abandonment. Elizabeth embraced vulnerability and allowed God to tenderly address those issues in her heart, and as she did and began to share with others, she discovered so many suffer silently with the same thoughts, doubts, and questions.
The thing that makes us most lonely is all the masks we wear. People don’t feel they will be loved for being who they are.”
God’s Word has something powerful to say to those who feel alone. Elizabeth hopes the pages of her book will convey to readers that God is right there with them. He hears the cry of each heart, and answers with action and power. Elizabeth shares that when we don’t understand God’s nearness, it can be costly to our relationships.
We often turn to other people for our needs and burden them with things they can’t handle. It’s just—too much. But it’s never too much for God.”
One of the most amazing things about our God is His continual presence. He never leaves us, and when we understand what a gift that is, even the hardest moments of life become manageable.