Dec. 15: Abandoned only for a season
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Have you ever felt completely alone? Abandoned, even? Small and insignificant? I have. This summer, while participating in the college’s Ministry Inquiry Program, I went through a period of abandonment that was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. I felt as if God had turned his back on me. I struggled with sin, and then, gave up. I was abandoned. Or so I thought.
This past semester, God has worked in awesome ways to show me that I am loved and cared for. My struggles forced me to seek God in a way that I was unaccustomed to doing, and for the first time in a long time. I felt the promise of Micah 5:5: “And he will be their peace.” My peace, her peace, his peace, YOUR peace. Christ is our peace.
So often, the chaos of life finds us looking up at the foot of the mountain and telling God that the situation is impossible. We are tempted to give up. In fact, some of us do give up. Our struggles are great, and sometimes the light in our lives becomes so diminished that we believe that it cannot become a flame again.
It is for that reason, though, that I find this passage so comforting. God speaks to a small, seemingly insignificant clan of Judah and tells them that one of them will rule. He raises up the small clan who everyone ignores, shows them favor and promises to make them great. He promises that to us as individuals also. God says that although we will feel abandoned for a time, that He will return and shepherd us. Maybe sometimes, we have to go through the abandonment to appreciate being together.
During this Advent season, I exhort you all to look at the times of abandonment in your life, and realize the purpose behind each of those times. I believe that each trial and difficulty in life is used by God to break and mold us into the beautiful people he created us to be, and opportunities for Christ to truly be our peace. Abandonment is for a season, but Christ’s peace, is eternal. So here we are, safe in the arms of the God who loves us enough to return.
SCRIPTURE: Micah 5:2-5a (NRSV)
But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to rule in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labour has brought forth;
then the rest of his kindred shall return
to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth;
and he shall be the one of peace.
If the Assyrians come into our land
and tread upon our soil,
we will raise against them seven shepherds
and eight installed as rulers.