As we were driving through a neighboring town, we spotted a large retail complex with the high parking lot light, the mesh screens to keep the merchandise intact, with the promise of more goodies in the adjacent building. On the property just next to this complex was this small building, that had clearly been abandoned some time earlier.
As we looked at it, I wondered what stories that building could tell, and what had happened to reduce it to crumbling timbers.
Another example of abandonment that we saw on a trip through Colorado is this mining camp, high in the mountains of the Rocky Mountain Range.
A closer look at this site reveals that this camp was destroyed by the ravages of time and weather. When it closed, nothing could save it from the destruction that comes with abandonment.
The problem is that buildings are not the only things that are affected by abandonment. It is a sad and distasteful statement to make, but the reality is that people are abandoned on a regular basis.
Human relationships are frequently conditional, and often people are abandoned when they have done something that is distasteful to another, and that person abandons the relationship, walking away and leaving the first person alone and sometimes destitute. Consider the wife who is told that her husband wants a divorce because she no longer pleases him. He walks out, and she is emotionally, and often, physically and financially abandoned.
Or, consider the employee who has spent decades working for the benefit of the company, only to be told that his efforts are not longer required because technology has rendered his job obsolete. He is abandoned by his employer and he finds himself without a meaningful job and, sometimes, without means to care for himself or his family.
While it seems the situation is stark and there is no refuge to which to turn, there is One who will not abandon His children – the Lord Jesus Christ.
When the Israelites were facing a severe challenge in the wilderness wanderings, Moses told them:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
This comforting truth was brought from the Old Testament into the New Testament when the writer of Hebrews said:
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.“”
The Psalmist assured us, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that:
“For the LORD will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage;”
Jesus, Himself, told His disciples these comforting words taken from John 14:
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
What comfort and what encouragement, even if you feel abandoned by all others, Jesus has said that He will not leave His sheep, His children, as orphans. Rather, He will send the Holy Spirit to be within each believer in Him. The Holy Spirit will teach the believer all that he/she is to know. The Holy Spirit will encourage and strengthen the believer so that there is no fear. In place of fear there will be heavenly peace that is sent from Jesus Himself.
Note, this is not a blank check so that you can get whatever material stuff you want!
This is a free gift that will provide all the peace and comfort that you need, whenever you need it. It will provide courage and strength to face whatever is ahead of you, even that which you don’t recognize today. There is no reason to fear because your Lord and Savior is with you.
This is a free gift with no limit because your debt has been paid in full by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. You are debt free. That does not mean that you will not sin any more, believers in Christ are not immune from the temptation to sin, but the Spirit gives us the strength to withstand sin. And, if we yield to tht temptation, confession and repentance will restore us to the peaceful relationship we can have with our Lord.
Abandoned? I personally know that it is a scary time, but you are not alone if you are in Christ Jesus. It is not an easy time, and getting through the trial will probably take more time than you like, but God’s schedule is eternal and not limited to our minutes. He can give you peace moment by moment, as He directs you to those who can assist with your needs. While God is with you each moment of this trial, His renovation of your spirit and your outlook may take some time, but it is a transformation that is worth the wait!
Often, when something is abandoned, there is a remarkable new structure that is ultimately built exactly where the abandoned building had stood. When we feel we are abandoned, God can take this time to rebuild and refortify us so that we can serve Him in a new way.
Rest in the Lord, and let Him overwhelm you with His peace, as He prepares you for your next adventure in the life with Christ.
Father, I thank You that You are the master builder who can transform an abandoned individual into someone who lives for You and who loves Your Son. Thank You for not leaving us as orphans in this hard land; and thank You for the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, a peace that passes all understanding.