As humans on this earth, what is something we have all experienced to some degree in our lives? I would dare say…..
Who has “abandoned” you…whether intentional or out of one’s control?
What situations have made you feel abandoned?
–a parent who left when you were just a wee little one?
–a spouse who walked out on you?
–someone who died unexpectedly that was significant in your life?
–a friend who no longer talks to you?
–a significant other who you thought you would marry?
–learning you now have an incurable disease?
–dealing with a type of abuse in your life..whether physical, emotional or sexual?
Often the pain can be so devastating and seems like it can even take a lifetime to recover from, don’t you agree?
Abandonment can cause grief which is much worse some days than others often coming in waves.
The best thing we can do is accept the grief, take time to feel it, and try each day to put one step in front of the other. We need to try to hold on to God’s promises, the TRUTH, in our feelings of abandonment.
Knowing that we are not alone can offer some solace for our aching hearts.
Isn’t it interesting to think that even Jesus experienced the feeling of abandonment as He was hanging on the cross to save you and me from all our sins?
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” –Matthew 27:45-46 (NLT)
It was interesting to me that I recently learned that this was the one and only time that Jesus did not call, God, ‘Father!’
My understanding is that Jesus did not call God, ‘Father,’ and felt this abandonment from God because He bore upon Himself ALL the sins of the world—the sins of you and me–so that we do not have to!
We all agree that God is holy, right? Actually the ONLY one who is holy from the beginning of creation.
No one is holy like the LORD! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. –1 Samuel 2:2 (NLT)
Notice in the following verse, the word “Holy” is used three times to describe God!
And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” –Isaiah 6:3 (NIV)
Not only is God holy, but He is holy, holy, holy! It is the only attribute of God that is actually mentioned three times sequentially in the Bible.
It then makes sense that Jesus, being God’s only Son, did not sin while on this earth either.
He (Christ) committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 1 Peter 2:22 (ESV)
Since God is all holy, He is separated from sin; God and Jesus have no sin.
Thus, when Jesus was on the cross, bearing the weight of the ALL of our sins, God could not even look at sin since He is only holy.
Taking on the sins of the world caused Jesus to be spiritually separated from God for that moment. That is why Jesus felt abandoned by God as He hung on the cross for you and me! I dare venture to imagine that the spiritual separation was probably even more agony for God and Jesus than even the physical pain Jesus experienced.
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. –2 Corinthians 5:21 (NLT)
When you feel abandoned by the people in this world, take heart in knowing there is one and only one who will NEVER abandon you! God, in His infinite goodness will never abandon us! Here are a few of God’s promises to us:
No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. –Joshua 1:5 (NLT)
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” –Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT)
Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” –Hebrews 13:5 (NLT)
What about the flip side of the abandonment question?
Have you ever abandoned God?
Sometimes the choices we may make creates a distance in our relationship with our Father.
*Maybe we choose a lifestyle of sin though we know better.
*Maybe we choose not to read our Bible anymore.
*Maybe we choose not to pray to God anymore.
*Maybe we choose not to fellowship with other Christians.
*Maybe we have other gods like money or work.
Why do we abandon God?
**We think we know what is best for us rather than trust God?
**We base our actions on the way we feel rather than the TRUTH of God’s word?
**We find it easier to follow the ways of world rather than God?
**We are selfish and impatient?
Remember: Even when WE abandon God, He still remains faithful and true always waiting for us to return!
While penning these thoughts, I heard this song, Braver Still, by JJ Heller that I thought was a perfect match for these thoughts on abandonment. Take a few moments to listen and be ministered to.
For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all he does. — Psalm 33:4 (NIV)