North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose by Matt Dobson

“We Never Walk Alone”. This motto is prominently painted on the brick walls as you enter the Santa Rosa Correctional Institution. Its purpose is to provide a positive motivating statement for the staff as they start the work day. Santa Rosa C.I. is a state adult correctional facility in the Florida Department of Corrections. While working in this environment, it’s important to know you have the support of those you work with. Yet, there’s always the cautious concern of your own accountability and safety. In my years of correctional work with the state of Florida I’ve witnessed and worked with inmates who were locked up in close management and solitary confinement cells. Being isolated and alone takes serious adjustment; not to mention being separated from family, friends, and the freedoms of society.

In the free world, many people go through life with the fear that one day they will be left alone. Some, who are surrounded by many people or only a few, can’t bear the thought of loneliness. They don’t want it nor do they like it. At one time or another we have all felt the bitter sting of being alone—at least in our thoughts. It may have been after the passing of a loved one, perhaps after a divorce, or maybe after the rejection of someone you really cared for. As brief or as long as the feelings of loneliness may be; it’s a very real feeling.

I can recall a conversation many years ago I had with my grandmother. My grandfather had passed away 15 years previous to our talk. We were reminiscing about days gone by and I ask her, “Do you ever get lonely living alone?” She paused a moment to give careful thought to her words. Finally she said, “Son, there’s times I miss your grandfather and I miss living in Jay near all my friends. But I’m not lonely. Because I look forward to being with your grandfather again one day in heaven, I can visit friends when I want, and I’ve always got the Lord by my side. I talk to Him every day.” I’ll never forget her sincere response concerning loneliness. Her reply says to me, there’s one sure touch that can alleviate loneliness. There is one still, small voice that can whisper through the silence and into your heart. The voice of God’s Spirit—who is the true friend to the lonely. God is a true friend that cares (1 Peter 5:7).

God is forever, He doesn’t go away, and He doesn’t grow old. This means He doesn’t change. For the Bible says, “…I the Lord do not change…” (Malachi 3:6). God also says He will never forsake His children. He assures us when He says, “…I will never leave you or let you be alone” (Heb. 13:5).Nobody or spirit can make this claim and back it up. Should the time come and you find nobody near or friends have ignored you or when your family members have gone their separate ways—fill what the world says is loneliness with the love and friendship of God. Scripture tells us, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). He is always there and He will make all things new. Choose to possess a new heart, a renewed mind, a hope that says I will never be alone if I’m faithful to God. Loneliness is banned from you the moment your heart is given to God and to the fellowship of other believers. A person who has decided to live in the Spirit of Christ will often gain the attraction of others. But you must show yourself friendly, be kind to others, and be sympathetic to the plights of people in need. Recognizing the burdens of others and helping them bear their own cross will help cure the diseases of self-pity and loneliness.

May I suggest, the way to positive thinking gives way to positive living and positive living is never more real than when it is obedient to God’s Word. Meditate on the Bible. Make it your daily companion. Doing so will allow your spirit to live in a world that was created by God; a world that is greater than the passing of time and a sure cure for loneliness. But more than anything, obedience to the Bible brings you close to God in a very real way. You and I live in a world where loss is a given—loss of property, loss of family, loss of friends, loss of jobs, and even in some cases loss of mind. But even with the separation of these, the believer can still know within their soul God is always with them. As long as you live on earth, you have a refuge (Psalm 46:1). Turn to God and in His merciful sympathy and in His powerful protection your loneliness will become a quiet calm as you experience His peace. You are not alone when God is welcomed into your mind and spirit. Skeptics say it is not the same and that loneliness is only relieved with a physical body by your side. Until you know God, you will always have that narrow-minded attitude.

“We Never Walk Alone.” This motto may be quoted in the Department of Corrections, but it also describes the life with God. Jesus is always the unseen guest. Know His Spirit is there with you in what seems to be the loneliest times. And just be happy that God is with you and always will be.

In the quietness of the day and the silence of the night empty your mind of worry, fear, doubt, resentment, and unforgiveness. In return, fill it with divine peace, love, and joy. And of course, always think positive, “…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are good to talk about; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8). Find a church where you can fellowship with others and you will likely find the powerful grip of loneliness start to fade away. See you in church on Sunday!

  • This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at


Posted by on Nov 25 2012. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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