Every now and then we come across abandoned buildings. Have you ever noticed that sense of loneliness associated with an empty, desolate, deserted building? It’s difficult not to think of it as a place that was once busy and bustling, and filled with people, relationships, purpose and love.
It’s not so very different with people.
Have you ever gotten the feeling that you’ve been abandoned? Have you ever experienced the loneliness of being left behind? Sometimes it’s friends who don’t stick with you through thick and thin, as you expected them to do. Or perhaps you’ve gone through the agony of separation in your marriage, or the geographical (and not infrequently the emotional) distancing that comes with moving away from home. Or maybe you were the one who stayed back and experienced the pain of the “empty nest.”
Separation from the love of our family and friends — whether emotional rejection or geographical distance — is painful. It can lead to inner struggles with our self-confidence and outer struggles with our sleep schedule, amongst other things. The pain of abandonment is very real, and very acute.
But have you also noticed that there seem to be people who are somewhat independent of the hurt that other people can cause them? Not entirely, of course. It almost always hurts to be abandoned by and separated from those we love.
But some seem to be able to rise above this pain. What is about them that allows them to do this?
I contend that they have someone in their life whose love is steady and faithful.
As Paul writes to the Romans, he talks about Someone who is not just any someone. He our Creator, our Sustainer, our Heavenly Father. He is the One who planned and carried out a plan of salvation, a plan that involved the sacrifice of his one and only Son. This One — God — pledges that nothing will be able to separate us from his love. He will never abandon us — no matter what challenges or obstacles we might face in life. He will never leave us nor forsake us, no matter how many others do.
His connection to us is perfect and forever. With him, the outcome is always the same. We will overcome. We will win. We will conquer.
Against all comers. And even despite all leavers.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39, NIV).
Our Bible reading for Friday, July 24, is Hosea 10:1 – 11:11, Romans 8:18-39 and Psalm 89:1-8.
Header image based on "abandoned homestead" by Jim Fischer, CC By 2.0