March 15, 2012

He does not get lost

When our youngest was small, we took the family to Banff. As we walked the main street, the children wanted to go into a souvenir shop. We told them to keep their hands off the merchandise and we would wait outside. I’m not sure what happened next, but memory suggests that we ducked into the store next door for a moment and at that moment, he came out to find us and didn’t. So he darted up the street looking.
By the time we realized he was missing, we had no idea which way he went. After going in several directions, we decided to call the police. Before that happened, we spotted a tall young man with large, orange afro hair coming toward us — with our missing child. 

The panic of losing someone precious is a shattering nightmare. When children go missing, what parent does not experience their pain with them? All sorts of possible disasters pound our hearts as we try to fight the wailing terror that we will never see them again. 

As a Christian, there have been a few times when I felt like I lost God. I had no sense of His presence and was without any assurance that He was still with me. This sensation is described in the Bible. Even though the following verses seem to be about a beloved spouse, Song of Solomon is often considered an allegory describing our relationship with Jesus Christ, the lover of our souls.
On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not. I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not. (Song of Solomon 3:1–2)
Charles Spurgeon considers it that way. He, like many of us, knows that horrible quest of looking for God. It is to that sense of loss that he offers this advice:
Tell me where you lost the company of Christ, and I will tell you the most likely place to find Him. Have you lost Christ in the closet by restraining prayer? Then it is there you must seek and find Him. Did you lose Christ by sin? You will find Him in no other way than by the giving up of the sin, and seeking by the Holy Spirit to mortify the member in which the lust doth dwell. Did you lose Christ by neglecting the Scriptures? You must find Him in the Scriptures. It is a true proverb, “Look for a thing where you dropped it; it is there.” So look for Christ where you lost Him, for He has not gone away.
Spurgeon’s last line is grounded in the promises of God. Several times the Lord says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” God does not go away.

For me, at least most of the time, my sense of having lost Him is about faith. I forgot or did not really believe His promise and dropped my faith on the ground of feelings, picking up instead the lie that God had abandoned me. Regaining my loss always means confessing my lack of faith in Him and the sin of believing Satan’s lies. For this He forgives and cleanses. When that happens, I realize once again that it was not Him who was lost.

Lord, without Your promised presence, I would be in a panic all the time. Because You are always near and always with me, I can walk through life with confidence. You never leave or forsake me.

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