Friday, April 18, 2014

Closer Than You Know

Deuteronomy 31:6b., "He will neither fail you nor abandon you."

Never will I leave you... Never will I forsake you.

Have you ever allowed those words to penetrate your heart?

In life, there's something I've come to find. We probably all can think of good seasons we've had, but we also can certainly remember seasons that were agonizingly painful.

A few weeks ago, I celebrated my 20th birthday. I love my birthday, but this year I was dreading it. It wasn't because of my age that I was dreading it. It was because of the memories I had from the previous year that caused me to not want my birthday to come again.

The year before, I had just started dating someone two weeks before my birthday, and on my birthday, he made it special and gave me my first kiss at midnight. What was a sweet memory turned to a bitter one when we weren't together anymore, but I still had that memory. As my birthday approached, all I could think about were the lost dreams and that one memory that turned from sweet to bitter.

I knew I couldn't stop my birthday from coming, so I decided to make a new memory. At midnight, I came into my room and decided I'd spend time with God.

I reflected on the past year and saw the pain I had gone through, but in that moment as I drew near to God, He opened my eyes to see how He was there with me through it all. He was with me in my moments of greatest joy, but even when those moments of joy turned to moments of pain and I experienced one of the most difficult years of my life, I finally could see how God was there with me through it all. He shared with me all the joy, but He held me close and caught every tear I cried in my moments of pain.

I began crying as I remembered all the times I felt like God was so far away and I didn't understand why things were happening the way they were. So many times I couldn't see where God was, but as I looked back, I could see that never once did He forsake me.

There's a song that Meredith Andrews sings called "Not For A Moment (After All)" that has been the song of my heart ever since that day. That song is the exact expression of what I felt in that moment of looking back and seeing that when I thought God was a million miles away, He was closer than ever before.

Whatever you're going through today, my encouragement is this: know that God will never leave you or forsake you. Perhaps right now you feel forsaken. You may feel like God is far away. I did too. But I know someday you'll look back and, if you really look, you'll find that God was there all along.

Dear Heavenly Father,

As I looked back over the past year, I finally was able to see clearly that never once did you forsake me. I remembered all the times I thought You were a million miles away and I couldn't understand what You were up to, You were really holding me close and walking with me through my darkest valleys. I pray for anyone who is still in the middle of a dark valley. I pray You'll make Yourself known to them and help them realize that You have not abandoned them. I pray that one day they'll get to look back (just as I did) and finally be able to see that You didn't leave them or forsake them for even a moment. In Jesus' Name.

Amen.