Abandoned

Devotional from John 9:1-34, originally written November 2, 1998, modified November 16, 2012

It has always been easier to walk away from a bad situation or circumstance, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best thing to do.

Our society is filled with single-parent families because we have become accustomed to abandonment.  It has become a way of life on all levels.

By saying this, I am not condemning or judging people in single-parent families, just stating my observation from my own life as well as what I see around me.

In this day of social media, where likes are more important than hugs, that sense of abandonment is only growing.  It doesn’t take any effort to “like” a comment or “retweet” a post.  We replace physical contact with something nebulous on the internet; one more way to abandon without really being accountable for it.

In this particular Biblical account, a miracle had taken place. An event you think would unite a family.  However, it caused his parents to abandon him because what happened wasn’t popular; it was easier to walk away (v. 20-23) than stand and support their son.

Abandonment was obvious in this case.  In our society, as I previously mentioned, it isn’t always so up front.  It isn’t just people, it is abandonment of feelings, beliefs, morals, etc.  We have become a people who have learned to disassociate with those things that are too hard to face and deal with, or that take too much engery to do or maintain.

The problem is, what we walk away from has a habit of coming back to visit us at some point in our lives.

The truth is, we can’t completely abandon anything.  We carry it in some form, whether it be hurt emotions, anger, sickness, etc.  Think of all the freedom we would have if we face things that are hard and worked them through rather than abandon them.

This man faced this hard time with the assurance that God was interested in him personally, and was concerned with doing what was best for him.  These men had never done anything for him.  To add insult to injury they even threw him out of the synagogue–they abandoned him because they couldn’t deal with what he said or what this miracle meant as it related to their own lives spiritually.

Thankfully, God never walks away from us, even when we are being difficult (believe me, I’ve tested Him), even when we abandon Him.

Father, thank you for Your unconditional love.  Help me through the difficult situations so that I will be an overcomer, not an abandoner.  Free me from the bondage that abandonment has brought or will bring in the future, and release in me the freedom of overcoming.

I have had to go back to some people in my life that I had abandoned, and apologize.  They hadn’t done anything to really deserve it, it was just a moment in my life when I found it to hard to work through the issues.  There are some things/people I have abandoned because they were unhealthy and/or had no desire to work toward healing.  Sometimes we do have to walk away; sometimes forever, sometimes just for a little while.  The hard part is knowing which is the right thing to do in the situation you are in.  The most important thing is to not leave behind the brokenness of abandonment, as it is a scar that runs deep and takes forever to heal.

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Sacrificial Giving Devotional

A devotional I wrote November 1998, based on John 12:1-10.

Today is Remembrance Day.  I explained to my [then] three-year-old daughter what this day means.  I found myself having a hard time explaining it to her without weeping.  The last couple of years (and every year since), on this day, has been an emotional experience.  Prior to this, it was just another holiday with no personal meaning to me.

While I do not know anyone who died in my family in any war, members of my family did fight in those wars.

However, it isn’t the fact that my family fought for the freedom I enjoy, but the fact that complete strangers gave their life for me that touches me so deeply.

This is the love that Mary displayed to Yeshua (Jesus).  She gave the most valuable thing she had, next to her life, in appreciation to Yeshua for bringing her brother Lazarus back from the dead, and more importantly, just because she loved Him as a dear friend.

Not everyone appreciates the sacrificial gifts we make, especially those who want to gain personally from the giving, but for those who are directly affected by the gift, it is an indescribable blessing and honor.

Whil the gift of each soldier’s life wasn’t personally for me, the effect of their life–freedom is something that I do possess, and it is an indecribable blessing for which I will always be grateful for.

Father, teach me to give sacrificiall even when it seems no one is benefitting from what I give or it i unappreciated.  I know that sometimes the gifts we give have an effect we can’t always see right away.

Let my sacrifice be a sweet smelling fragrance unto You.  Let it draw others to You and Your love that was expressed sacrificially through the precious gift of Yeshua.