A fender bender between a white Ford Explorer and a tan Honda Accord turned a three minute drive to my daughter’s preschool into a 20 minute anxiety laden excursion. I was going to be very late picking up my little girl, and I worried that she was feeling sad and scared as she waited for me. With hurried strides I entered the classroom to find my five-year-old sitting alone at her table. She was wearing her pink coat with a matching hat; her princess themed back pack was resting over her slumped shoulders. When I called out her name, her little head popped up and reminded me of a gopher emerging from its tunnel.
“Mommy,” she exclaimed!
Reaching out for my embrace, she turned her head slightly toward her teacher and confidently said, “I just knowed my mommy would never leave me.”
Do you hold such confidence in your heavenly Father? Do you know that He’ll never leave you? I ask because deep down in my soul, I didn’t always believe this truth….parts of it, yes, but the whole truth…no.
I believed that God, the creator of the universe, was always present in His creation. And, I believed that if I were oppressed, victimized, or sick, He would be with me in those dark hours.
What I had trouble believing is that God would stay by my side during the times I failed. When circumstances were tough, promises broken, and insults hurled, I found my strength in knowing that I was a child of God and that He would not forsake me. Yet, when I was the promise-breaker, insulter, liar, and the selfish hoarder, I felt not only shame and sorrow for my actions, I felt alone. And that perceived desolation, which was stationed on a lie and wrapped with guilt, often kept me from crying out to my Savior.
The portion of truth that seeped into my heart after years of resting on the surface is that with God, never means never. Scripture does not read, He will never leave you or forsake you unless you take the Lord’s name in vain, or unless you covet your neighbor’s house.
Yes, my actions have consequences. No, just as He was not always pleased with the decisions made by King David, He’s not always pleased with my choices. He knows I’ve made some bad ones. But still, He never leaves me alone…He never longs for me to self destruct. Instead, He hears my cry and rushes by my side …arms wide open.
“The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 (New International Version)
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
1 John 1:9 (New International Version)