Have you ever felt forsaken by God?
Yesterday, I went on Facebook and saw a post from my good friend Mark, one of my fellow disc dog competitors, that his dog Lulu had passed away. Lulu was the oldest of his three dogs and died peacefully of natural causes at age 12. Within the disc dog community, we appreciate each other’s canine companions, and understand the deep attachment a handler has with his canine partner. Mark posted a touching tribute to Lulu and I was moved to tears.
Afterwards, I entered my daily quiet time, spending time in the Word and prayer. I did some devotional reading, meditated on Scripture, and then began to listen to Christian music. As I played “Not for a Moment” by Meredith Andrews, the tears began to flow again. Meredith Andrews has a beautiful voice, but the lyrics pierced my heart:
You were reaching through the storm, walking on the water, even when I could not see in the middle of it all. When I thought You were a thousand miles away, not for a moment did You forsake me, not for a moment did You forsake me. After all - You are constant After all - You are only good After all - You are sovereign Not for a moment will You forsake me And every step, every breath you are there. Every tear, every cry, every prayer. In my hurt, at my worst, when my world falls down, not for a moment will You forsake me.
The tears flowed because I knew in that moment that God is with us in our tears. In our pain and brokenness, in our worst times, He will never forsake us. Sometimes it feels like God is far away or doesn’t care. Jesus cried out on the cross, “My God, my God, have you forsaken me?” With our sin weighing heavily upon his shoulders, for the first time in all eternity, Jesus was separated from his Heavenly Father. Jesus was forsaken in that moment so that not for a moment will God forsake us.
As it says in Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Be not afraid; do not be discouraged.” This wonderful assurance overwhelmed me and as I wept, the sorrow I felt flowed from my heart into the heart of God. My burden of guilt and sadness was lifted and in its place I felt the peace and comfort of the Lord. Ah, Lord God, what joy I feel in your Holy Presence!
As the days go by between now and Holy Week, take time to enter the presence of the Living God. Our Heavenly Father longs to spend time with you, healing your deepest hurts and filling you with His love and peace. More than anything, more than giving up a bad habit for Lent, as helpful as that may be, give time each day for God.
I recommend the Lenten devotional, “Journeying with Jesus,” which can be read on the free YouVersion app for your phone. Or you can find it on this link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/11147-journeying-with-jesus-40-days-lent-deovtional