I remember one day in particular, when I was about eight or nine years old, taking an afternoon nap. When I awoke from the nap, it was dusk—that time of day where there is still the fading glow of daylight, but every object becomes a blackened silhouette against the illumination of the sky. Still groggy, I got up and walked around the house, searching for my family…but no one was there. I called out for my mom, my dad, my sister…no answer. I became increasingly panicked. The lights were off, the front door and back door were unlocked…as if…everything had been taking its natural course that afternoon and then everyone had just disappeared. I, being born and bred in church and knowing scripture, came to the most logical conclusion I could muster… I had missed the rapture of the saints.
Thankfully, on the heels of that conclusion, came a banging at the back door (which I had locked) and the distinct sound of my older sister’s voice calling my name—apparently, I had locked her out. As it was, my parents had run a quick errand, and my sister happened to be in the backyard and had not heard me call out. But…for that short time, I had been afraid. I had felt abandoned and completely alone.
Sometimes, we come against circumstances in life—events, situations or simply the unfettered musings of our mind, that lead us to believe we are abandoned, alone, desolate… And there can be such an ache in our being, pervasive and deep, that causes us to feel helpless and without hope. But, no matter what we feel, scripture is clear: “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.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (Also, Psalm 23 and 27, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 43:1-2, Matthew 28:20, I Peter 5:7.)
Today, remember this truth: God is with us, cares for us, has not left us alone or abandoned us. He is near, and He loves us so very much.