Read Deuteronomy 31:6
We first met when I was very young, too young in my opinion. You left me feeling alone, scared about the future, and, in many ways, hopeless. How else is one supposed to feel growing up without a father?
My dad left my life for a variety of circumstances when I was in the first grade. Like so many across the world, I grew up without a father. The pain of typing those words today is still as real as it was throughout my childhood. Seeing my friends with their dads was always a challenge for me. Oh, what it would have been like to have a dad to help teach me how to ride a bike, or to fish, or drive, or be a God-honoring man. These were the thoughts that used to plague my mind.
Unfortunately, this story isn’t all that uncommon in the world we live in today. The Washington Times estimates that one in three American children grow up in a household without a father. Yet, despite the common nature of my circumstances, folks will often ask me after sharing my story, “Do you wish it was different?” My simple response is, “No.”
For many years, I thought I had been abandoned. Left behind, without any hope for rescue. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. My eyes were focused on what was in front of me, instead of what was above me. On January 21st of 2013, I realized I had never been abandoned. Jesus met me that quiet winter morning with a promise of, “I will never leave you.” Even in a situation that looked eternally broken, God reminded me His faithfulness is eternally fulfilling. Our text today from Deuteronomy reminds us of God’s unwavering promise to never leave. While the people around us might forsake us, our God never fails.
It wasn’t until after I met Jesus I realized I had never been forsaken. He never left me, and He made sure I was never alone. Despite my feelings of abandonment, God had blessed me with some amazing people in my life whose sacrifice I had not truly appreciated. My mother who gave up so much to raise my brother and me by herself, my Grandparents who are like a second set of parents, and my great-grandparents who, despite their age, sacrificially gave of their time to be with Peyton and me.
Abandonment, I can’t help but be thankful you came into my life. God used your mess to create a great masterpiece. Without you, I would never have been able to have such a great relationship with my Grandpa, the opportunity to learn from such great godly men that I have in my pastors and mentors, and a story of hope that I can now offer to those going through similar situations.
Abandonment, you might be something we feel, but the reality is you are something that simply doesn’t exist.
God. Never. Lets. Go.