This week I had a weird feeling in my heart, a feeling that was unfamiliar and hard to distinguish. It was a type of sadness, but much deeper. As I thought back upon the previous weeks, I realized I was feeling abandoned.
Abandoned is a strong and dramatic word. It means to leave somebody behind for others to look after.
Some of you are all too familiar with feeling abandoned. Loved ones have left you, for one reason or another, and you are left behind trying to pick up the pieces. Abandonment gives way to feelings of fear and insecurity. Who will take care of me? Who will love me? Will others leave me too? If left untreated, feelings of abandonment can take over your life and cause you to become wounded and closed off from building healthy relationships.
As I processed my feelings with my husband, I was grateful I had him. I enjoy great security in our relationship. (In fact, whenever we go through something, whether in parenting, ministry or life, he always says, “At least we’re going through it together.”) As I found comfort in my husband, I sensed the Holy Spirit reminding me that although we are committed to death do us part; some day one of us will leave the other behind. I was tempted to go to the depths of despair over that thought, but The Comforter was quick to speak these familiar words, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
These words are first found in Deuteronomy 31. They’re the words of Moses when he tells all of Israel that they will have a new leader, Joshua. In Deut. 31:6, he tells the people that God will never forsake them. In Deut. 31:8, he tells Joshua, in the hearing of the people, these words:
As far as Deuteronomy shows, these are the last recorded words of Moses to Joshua. What life-giving words for a leader to hear. Moses assured Joshua that God will lead the way and be with him. As Israel’s leader, all Joshua had to do to succeed, was follow the Lord. God would never abandon Joshua. Moses didn’t make that promise of any other person, only God. Moses knew from experience that others would abandon Joshua, but not God. Therefore, Joshua is commanded to not be afraid or discouraged.
The words given to Joshua are given to you and me as leaders as well. God goes before us and will always be with us. Others may leave us, but GOD. NEVER. WILL. When others leave, it is human nature to be afraid and discouraged. When that happens, we need to change our perspective and focus. Yes, others will leave us, but God will be with us forever. He will never leave. He will never forsake. He will never abandon! Never. Never. NEVER!
I am letting the truth of God’s Word penetrate my feelings. Although I am still feeling sad, I’m also awash with fresh peace, contentment and underlying hope. No matter what life brings, I will always have Jesus. He is enough.
Your Friend in Ministry,