“I will not abandon you”

“Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you,” says the Lord God (Isaiah 49 v 15)

These lines from the Bible came into my head just now. Thank you Jesus. It’s very hard to hang onto anything when everything I trusted in, so much – too much – seems to be taken away. The Lord alone suffices, St Teresa of Avila wrote. The Lord alone will never forget us and never fail us, even if His face is hidden from us for a little while. He loves us like a mother or a father, and more.

“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” (Psalm 27). When everything else crumbles, when we are totally alone, still God who is love remains. One translation of the Aramaic actually says “Because my father and mother forsake me,”; “because” rather than “when”. The Lord knew we would be abandoned, and so, He never leaves us and He takes us up in His arms.

I struggle very much to pray when I feel as I do now. The hurt and obstacles and anger and frustration and alone-ness, all obscure my hope in God and too quickly I allow them to cloud who God is and who He created us to be. If all I run into is this pain, He must be angry, He must wish me punished, He must take pleasure in my pain. I must return to His Cross and return to listen to His Word in the Bible. This is God, not my pain of itself. Love surely brings pain, but it is not the pain and hurt and isolation itself.

And then in prayer, came my Jesus’s tender promise – “My gaze is longing love.”

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