Abandoned. Left behind. Completely alone. Terrified. I recall when, as a child of nine, my parents drove away from church–-without me!
Thankfully, my childhood abandonment was short-lived. Mom and Dad heard the silence in the car, realized they’d forgotten one child and returned to church, to my great relief.
I think of the former acquaintance who, along with his waste collection buddies, found an abandoned, live infant in a garbage can. I grieve for the many children who are abandoned emotionally, physically, spiritually by addicted, incapable, or uncaring parents.
But for Christ to say “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” from the Cross expresses incomprehensible pain.
At that moment, Jesus, carrying all the sin of the world on Himself, identified fully with my sin. Although He was sinless, Christ felt the separation from God that we sense when we doubt Him or have unconfessed sin in our lives. In heaven the Son was One with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The three experienced perfect communication, complete alignment, sublime love, total Oneness. Leaving all that only to feel forsaken and abandoned-–how great a gap that must have been!
But Truth won out when Jesus rose from the dead, just as He had promised!
After a God-honoring memorial service for my first husband, I fell into a deep pit of abandonment, aloneness, despair. I was crushed by the question “What if everything I have believed is a lie … there is no eternal life with Christ … and I will never see Jerry again …” My conclusion was that if that were true, and faith in Christ a lie, life as I knew it was over. No hope. No sustenance. No future. I might as well quit now.
I was alone in another sense. Because I had experienced God’s faithfulness, presence and hope during Jerry’s illness and death, people often commented on my example of faith, and how they were learning from me how to respond in adversity. How could I now disappoint them by revealing my doubts, the anguish I felt, my separateness from God and others? So I kept my agony to myself, rather than reaching out for help, and wandered through murky darkness for several weeks.
One day God brought Peter’s words vividly to my mind: “Where else would we go, Lord? You alone have the words of eternal life.” And suddenly, my heart was free.
Truth won out.
The gap closed, and I was again in union with my Lord, who went to the deepest of all pits in order to give me hope and life eternal.
A dear friend once told me that God wants to be God even in my deepest ditch. However deep our pit, God has gone deeper still. He understands our joys, sorrows, hopes and dreams and wants us to talk with Him about each.
Where are you feeling abandoned? Where do you need God to rescue you from your pit? Be vulnerable. Tell Him. Allow Him to touch you and renew your spirit.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
I pray God’s blessing and peace be with you in this new year, 2021!
Scripture image from https://www.heartlight.org/