Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Forget Me Not

“But Zion said to me, ‘The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.’ Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” Isaiah 49: 14-15

Have you ever felt forgotten or overlooked? I bet most of us have (or will) at one point or another. Or maybe you really were forgotten? There have been several times over the years that parents have forgotten to pick-up their kids after youth group meetings. Perhaps you were really hurting or sad and no one seemed to notice. Or you were going through a difficult time and no one reached out to you. Some people know what it is liked to be the last kid picked on the playground or the one kid from the class not invited to the party.

This can happen to adults as well. Maybe you were overlooked for the promotion at the office, or someone else got credit for your hard work. Perhaps you are recently widowed and everyone seems to have gone back to their own lives and left you alone. Maybe you are elderly and your grown children are too busy to spend time with you.

There is a multitude of ways that we can feel forsaken or forgotten in life. Some people reading this have even felt forgotten by God. I know I have. I went through a very difficult time in 9th grade and by the end of that year I figured that God was too busy for me and that I needed to forge my own way—which I did for the next three years with very little to show for it except misery. Obviously God NEVER forgets us or we would cease to exist, but sometimes we can FEEL like He has forgotten about us, even if it isn’t true. But you know what? If we feel this way we have good company, because even Jesus felt this way while hanging on the cross. At that moment when He was utterly alone and dying, naked and bloody, He felt forsaken by God the Father. And I think His willingness to be so real with His emotions in that instance can be a comfort to you and me who might struggle from time to time with this question.

We need to know that God will never and has never forsaken or forgotten about us, especially when our hearts feel like He has. But we need to know that we can be honest with the Lord about how we are feeling. While we don’t want our emotions to control us, sometimes we have to honestly acknowledge them in order to move past them. We need to know that Jesus knows exactly how we feel and that right in those moments when we are feeling distant from Him, that He is actually holding us in His arms. Like an infant who is out of control and crying, only wanting to be held, but then when the mother picks them up they fight and struggle to get free again. And yet the mother holds on tighter and weeps with their child in their attempt to comfort them.

So know that if you weep, Jesus weeps with you. If you feel alone, Jesus has felt that too. If you feel forsaken, your feelings are valid. But that in all circumstances the REALITY is that God will never abandon you nor forsake you and that as long as you continue to exist, God has not forgotten about you.

Dear Jesus, help me to know Your presence at all times in my life, especially when I am feeling alone or forgotten. Please hold me tight even when I don’t see You so that I can always know You are with me. Amen.

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