Today we say goodbye to our dear friend Pat who went home to Lord on Sunday morning. The loss we feel is palpable, a huge black hole, a separation. Yet the Scripture that I sense God speaking to me is:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35, 38-39
As a child, my daughter and some of her little classmates suffered from separation anxiety. Leaving their moms at the door to preschool became a test of patience and grace. The moms knew they weren't leaving their children, but the children's perspective was one of separation.
As God's children, we can be comforted to know that He will never leave us or forsake us. He has assured us of that repeatedly (Deut. 31:6, Deut. 31:8, Joshua 1:5, 1 Kings 8:57 and Hebrews 13:5). Nothing can separate us from His love (Rom. 8)
Jesus left His home in heaven to dwell among us. Did He experience separation anxiety? No, Jesus said that He and the Father are one. Though wrapped in flesh and living as a man, He was one with His Father. And He said that we are one with Him.
So if He feels distant, the question is: Who moved?
As far as we might feel from God sometimes, it is only ever one step back into experiencing His presence. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19
Next week is Thanksgiving. We are given the opportunity to contemplate what we have to be thankful for. When we list our blessings, the fact that God desires to be in our presence should be at the top of our lists. Over these 40 days, may we rejoice in His presence.
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with You forever. Psalm 16:11