When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2
Early in our marriage my husband and I started a lifelong habit of calling each other at the end of our workday. We’d let the other know ahead of time if we would be late or what our ETA was. When we both worked it served as a way to talk about our dinner plans. After 32 years of marriage my husband still calls or texts me when he is on his way home. It was borne out of an incident when he didn’t call me. My first reaction was to think he’d been in a car accident. And as the time slipped by my worries grew. By the time he got home I was in tears from fear of his demise. He couldn’t understand why I was so upset. He’d just been out surfing after work with some friends.
So, while the habit of touching base became a good thing it also became a bit of a fear-based obsession with me. My husband spent many hours driving for his work. He frequently drove the more than 200 miles to and from Los Angeles. I worried constantly he would be killed in a car crash. I lost sleep over it. I fretted when he didn’t arrive exactly when he thought he would.
I finally realized one day my fears were a result of the fear of being left alone. I was certain if I lost him no one would ever love me again.
The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8
We hear the words that God is with us always. A Christian friend, who was struggling with marriage and family problems, confessed that sometimes we need a real, physical hug. We need to feel like we are loved and belong. That we haven’t been orphaned. Frequently in my prayers for people I ask God to help them feel his hand on their shoulder. I realize it’s what I really need when I struggle – to feel and know His physical presence in my life.
Sometimes He will show Himself in the face of a friend. Sometimes it’s in words from one of my daughters. He shows Himself in a song that comes on the radio. And sometimes the Holy Spirit will burn inside me. When needed, I have felt His hand on my shoulder.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18
I was listening to a podcast the other day where the women spoke of this need to feel God’s love for them. They knew the scriptures and could easily quote them. But they acknowledged that just knowing them wouldn’t suffice. We need to repeat them and truly believe them. The devil is constantly looking for ways to tear us away from God’s love. So, when we feel that loneliness, that fear of being forgotten we need to refocus on God. We may need to cry out to Him. We may need to sit in quiet mediation to hear Him.
There’s been a few occasions in the last couple months where I’ve felt rejected by people who should love me. Thankfully, in my maturing faith, I’ve turned to Jesus more and more to remind me of the one who always loves me, no matter what. And He has shown up to comfort me.
Here’s some beautiful scripture to remember and soak in today for anyone who might feel alone. For anyone who might feel as though they have been left behind or forgotten.
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5
But whoever loves God is known by God. 1 Corinthians 8:3
Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalms 66:20
Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love. Psalms 109:26
No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. John 16:27
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalms 91:14-16
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9