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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Forsaken

"But Zion said, 'The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.' Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you." Is 48: 14-15

Everyone has days and weeks when they feel forsaken or abandoned. Overwhelmed by problems at work or in a marriage, we wonder where God is. The consoling and encouraging God we have known is silent and nowhere to be found. We try to pray but are instantly distracted, and when we focus on work, our minds are a million miles away. No matter what we do, we feel like we are working under a dark cloud. Even talking with a friend brings no relief.

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to offer someone suffering like this, and words of comfort are more likely to annoy than bring relief. We can, however, be present to people who are suffering simply by sitting with them quietly and not forcing conversation. Almost always, when someone listens to them, they find their own way in the dark and after the hurdle they are facing passes, they apologize for not being more of a companion to us.

The prophet Isaiah offers a single sentence of comfort to those who feel forsaken. He tells us that God is a like a mother who, while not always able to be in the same room with her children, is never far away. More, the prophet insists that even if a mother fails in her responsibility to her children, God will not abandon us. We can rely on God no matter how dark our path seems.

Today, listen to someone who seems lost.

How do you manage the days and weeks when it feels like you are working in the dark?

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