Deserted. Abandoned. Forsaken. Rejected. Forgotten.
Some of the saddest terms in the English language. Nobody wants to be defined by these 5 unattractive words. Yet, how many times have we felt these? Once, twice, too many to count? I believe that the feeling of abandonment or being cast aside is one of the worst feelings a human can experience. Being left out, feeling unwanted, is; unfortunately, something that probably all of us can relate too. I recently went through an experience where I felt those exact emotions. Left out, unwanted, cast aside; and it rocked me to my core. Yes, I am a 30 (something) year old woman and those feelings still plague me at certain times. And in those moments, I sometimes forget my quest to be like Jesus and I react in self pity, angry words or unkind thoughts. But what should my response be? Much more Christ-like than it sometimes is. I am so thankful that I have a playbook to follow, a guide.
The Bible recounts numerous times in the life of Jesus where He was rejected, cast aside and abandoned. By strangers, by naysayers and by His own friends. He encountered persecution, unfair accusations and ultimately death. He had insults hurled at Him, He was asked to leave towns, He was unwelcome in many places and the list could go on for pages. But isn't it amazing that God loved us so much that He even sent His Son to the earth in the first place? To experience the things that we experience, to show us the way to love, respond and to give us rules to live by? In all of the unfairness that Jesus encountered, He didn't hold a grudge. He forgave. He turned the other cheek. And the greatest mystery of all is that He loved those who were unkind to Him! He desperately loved people, even those who were the most undeserving. If anyone deserved to be angry, unforgiving, have major self pity and spew insults back; it was Jesus. But He didn't. I want to be like that! I want to model the life that Jesus lived even in the midst of the sometimes unfairness of this world. And the good news is, I can. And so can you. His example is the best.
I find extreme comfort in knowing that Jesus encountered the same things I do and felt similar emotions.Want some really good news? What some solace that the world can't offer? He will never leave us or abandon us! No matter how many times people do. No matter the times we are cast aside by others. Even when family or peers leave us out or desert us, He never will. In Deuteronomy it tells us that The Lord our God will go with us; that we don't have nothing to fear and no reason to be discouraged because He is on our side! In the Psalms we are told that the Lord will never forsake His faithful ones. Romans tells us if God is on our side, who can be against us? Sweet, beautiful assurance! No matter how much we have been hurt and abandoned by others, our Faithful God will remain just that....faithful. No matter how bleak your situation looks, you can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that His promises are true. I've said it before and I'll say it again and again, He is a good, good Father and He knows just what you need.