Saturday, March 4, 2017

Feeling Forgotten - Martin Wiles

Suddenly, the angel of the LORD appeared to him as a blazing fire in a bush. Exodus 3:2 NLT

The deed had been done—as ugly as it was, and now I was feeling forgotten.

Marital breakups are never easy. No matter who’s at fault, the breakup can leave each partner feeling forgotten. Mine did. My aloneness was intensified when suddenly many of my professional friends left too. Perhaps they didn’t know how to respond. Maybe they thought I needed time to gather my thoughts. Some may have been embarrassed to associate with me since our profession looked unfavorably on divorce. Only one or two checked to see how I was doing.  

I suppose Moses felt the same. When he killed an Egyptian who was beating one of his fellow countrymen, I imagine he thought he was doing the right thing. But when the king discovered the murder and placed a death sentence on him, he knew differently. 

Fleeing to the desert, he met a priest, married his daughter, and spent the next 40 years tending sheep. In a split second, Moses went from the palace to the poor house and from being surrounded by hundreds of people to hanging out with sheep. 

When feeling forgotten, I try to remember that feelings don’t always mimic reality. Moses had a spouse, children, father-in-law, and neighboring shepherds. I had community and church friends. I felt forgotten because my situation in life had changed and because a few had chosen to cool our friendship.

Even if others forsake me, God never will. He didn’t leave Moses, and he didn’t leave me when my spouse did. He was as near as He always had been. The feelings of loneliness were merely keeping me from feeling His presence. 

Though my situation made it difficult, I tried to surround myself with spiritual encouragers. People who would remind me of God’s promises, who would call periodically and check on me, and who would hug me and tell me everything was going to be okay. These people forged friendships I still cherish today—many years beyond my time of feeling forgotten. 

When you pass through times that make you feel forgotten, remember God is always near. 

Prayer: Father, when we feel forgotten by others, remind us You always walk by our side. 

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