Perhaps Jesus’ disciples and followers experienced feelings of abandonment as they huddled behind locked doors following His death. They feared what might happen next. Would they be arrested and executed, too? Although Jesus tried to make them understand in the final days of his ministry, they were unprepared and stunned by his absence, left with feelings of grief and uncertainty.
All of us feel abandoned at times. When health issues, job losses, financial crises, and relationship problems overwhelm, it is human to wonder why God doesn’t immediately swoop in and fix everything. Feelings of loss and abandonment seem especially keen on holidays. As we see others smiling and happily enjoying the moment, it feels like we live on the fringes, merely going through the motions. Often holiday sadness is not a result of death, but rather the loss of a relationship, painful childhood memories, or the challenges of difficult relationships or circumstances. Sometimes we forget God is still with us. He hasn’t disappeared. The Holy Spirit lives within and promises to comfort and counsel us.
As I navigate grief and step into a new phase of life, I look back across generations and see how the Lord sustained our family through financial hardship, physical ailments, wars, and periods of grief and loss. We are not the first to experience sadness and uncertainty. Just as the Lord guided our parents and their parents, He will lead and protect us. He is a comforter, helper, and friend. Most of all, He is Father. Having been adopted into the family of God, we are not orphans.
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,Father.” Galatians 4:4-6
Over 2,000 years ago, God sent Jesus to dwell among us and rescue those who were lost, orphaned, and without hope. He was God with skin on. A man who experienced temptation, persecution, pain, and grief, but also joy. He understands us, loves us, and promised never to leave or forsake us. His presence is our blessed hope at all times and in all circumstances.