Saturday, 5 October 2013

Never Forgotten

When I was a very young girl, my father's place of employment hosted Christmas parties for the families of their employees. The highlight of these parties was Santa calling our names and giving each of us a gift. One year I waited in vain through the interminably long list of every child's name and mine was never called. It was a bewildering and hurtful experience for a young child, and I could sense my mother's cold but silent fury that one of her children had been forgotten. She did her best to make up for it by giving me one of my gifts intended for Christmas morning as soon as we got home from the party. But it was hurtful, nonetheless. I wish I could say that that was the only time that I experienced such a thing. But unfortunately feeling forgotten, neglected, abandoned, rejected is all too common for many of us. And sometimes we carry what we've experienced with us throughout life. And we compensate in many and various ways: acting out, being ultra good, overachieving, addictions, compulsions - anything to make people acknowledge us, to affirm us, to assuage the pain. But even at the best of times and with the best of compensations, it's only a temporary relief. 
As a quilter, even if I could own every piece of fabric in the world, it may fill my house and garage and yard... but it wouldn't fill the void in my heart. I could spend all day, sun-up to sundown, seven days a week making quilts out of those fabrics, and while I would enjoy the process and the final products and the praise I received for my efforts, my heart would still be yearning for something more. And I could give all those quilts away to charitable causes and receive accolades for my generosity, but eventually the good feelings my work created would dissipate and I would have to do something more to feel good again. But nothing would ever fully satisfy my soul hunger. I need something more.
We all want to matter. And when we feel that we don't, it leads to feelings of emptiness, worthlessness and despair. Many of us have endured horrendous - and not quite so horrendous - things that contribute to these feelings. How do we get past that? How do we live with it? 
From my experience, the only answer is Jesus. Only He can truly satisfy that soul-deep hunger for meaning. And He has left such amazing promises in His word. 
Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Psalm 27:10 NIV
Even if our own parents, spouse, children abandon us, Jesus never will. 
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. Isaiah 49:15, 16a NIV
I have a difficult time understanding any mother who could forget her own baby, but even though that may be possible, it is impossible for Jesus to forget us. How has He engraved us on the palms of His hands? By the nails of the cross! He will bear those scars forever, so He will never forget us.
He promised, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Joshua 1:5 NIV
Wow, what an amazing God! Santa may forget me. My parents may neglect me, my husband reject me and my daughter abandon me, but Jesus will never leave me. With Him, I am never forgotten.
Would you like to get to know Him? One of my favourite little books that has helped me get to know Jesus better is a nice little book called Steps to Christ. This book will help you find that soul-satisfying relationship with Him. You can read it online or download the audio version of it.