Slightly Obsessed #049 "You Are Not Forsaken" (Weekly Devo) by Pamela Thorson on 2013-10-23 14:25:54
I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you. – Hebrews 13:5
One month ago she climbed a silo at an abandoned concrete plant and jumped to her death. Before that day, twelve-year-old Rebecca Sedwick endured nearly a year of bullying by as many as fifteen girls in attacks that began at school and continued online after Sedwick’s parents removed her.
There had been warning signs. Last December, she was hospitalized after slitting her wrists. People knew she was sad. Her death and others like it have led to a rush of community soul-searching. Her mother wrote a birthday message on what would have been Sedwick’s thirteenth birthday, saying, “I feel like I failed….”*
Don’t we all? Every day and in many ways? We’re just flesh and blood; clay houses for the soul. We regularly fail ourselves; our God; each other.
Because we live with failure every day, it’s hard to comprehend a Father who never fails. Because we are guilty of desertion under fire, we can’t fathom a God who has promised to fight for us. Because we don’t understand His ways, we struggle to trust Him in the desperate hours when He seems to have abandoned us.
Have you prayed to God fervently, only to be met with silence?
Do you live with unremitting pain? Does it feel like nothing ever changes for the better?
Do you feel utterly alone in your crisis?
Jesus knew what if felt like to be forsaken. At His execution there was no place for Him in either heaven or earth. On the cross He hung utterly alone, the object of the full wrath of God. It was not because His Father wanted to hurt Him, but because Father and Son and Spirit knew it was the only way to spare you.
Bloodied, bruised, and dying, covered with the filth of a billion sins, Jesus cried out:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?
That is why you can never be forsaken by God. That possibility was taken away by Christ upon His own shoulders, borne for out of His great love for you.
Because we live in a fallen world awaiting the final redemption, we still have sorrow. Life will be filled with trials as we complete our pilgrimage to the holy city awaiting us in heaven. God has promised that for those who accept the sacrifice of Christ, hardship works for our good, teaching us perseverance and compassion for others.
This should inspire us to reach out to those we see suffering in silence around us. No person should live without knowing the comfort of the Holy Spirit. It is up to us, His hands and feet and heart, to reach out with His love to those like Rebecca who are hurting today.
You are not forsaken. God has written this in His blood. Accept this, trust in His faithfulness, and share His comfort with others as you await the day you fully understand why.
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
Slightly Obsessed #186: When the Path Ahead Is Fearsome
The room was dark and shadowed, the only sound within its walls the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator beside my son’s bed. I sat on an uncomfortable chair jammed into one corner of the room. In the faint light that fell from the window across the pages of the Bible I held, I tried to corral my stampeding fears long enough to find some comfort from God’s Word. Outside the door of his room, a cacophony of voices from the nurses’ station jarred our shattered nerves.
Slightly Obsessed #185: Clean
They were just turning down the lights in the sanctuary as I awkwardly slid into a seat near the back of the church. I was tired and soiled by the previous week. Life had been especially difficult, and I had not handled the pressure well. I felt completely unhinged spiritually and wholly unworthy to be in God’s presence. The worship team began with one of my favorite songs, and I hoped I didn’t look as vulnerable as I felt.
Slightly Obsessed #184: The Mark of Maturity
The infant finishes his bottle and smiles contentedly up at his mother. A trickle of milk courses down from the corner of his mouth. It’s a sweet scene because that’s what babies do. They are born with immature digestive systems and no teeth. Mother’s milk or formula are necessary for the child to survive and thrive. As they grow, their teeth begin to come in, their digestive abilities mature, and they can tolerate solid food.
Slightly Obsessed #183: He Knows Your Name
All sheep look alike to me. Defenseless, timid, and nondescript creatures, they tend to wander and get into trouble. When one falls, it needs help to get back on its feet. Its purpose in life is mostly to eat and make more sheep. It’s easy to see why Jesus equated them to humans. A line of sheep looks like a sea of wool and blank stares, huddled in a timid group behind their leader.
Slightly Obsessed #182 "When Speaking the Truth Makes You the Enemy"
The apostle Paul loved the people of God. After his conversion to Christ, he spent his life not only establishing churches, but also ministering to their needs. He often had the unpleasant duty of confronting issues that threatened the fledgling church, and his letters to the Galatians and to the Corinthians were especially aimed at keeping the churches rooted in the faith.
Slightly Obsessed #181 "The Moment before the Moment of Revelation"
The movie Ten Commandments famously depicted the rise, fall, and restoration of the Hebrew man who would one day lead his people out of Egypt. Set afloat as a baby in a basket to escape the wrath of Egypt, Moses was found by an Egyptian princess and unwittingly restored to his family to be raised as royalty. He was a man with a foot in two worlds, and his choice to follow the faith of his birth family cost him a king’s inheritance.