When I was four years old I went to the shopping centre with my Mum. We went to Kmart, where I really wanted to have a look and play in the toy section. Along the way I found myself captivated by a particular toy. It must have been a G.I.Joe or something like that. I spent some time daydreaming about how cool it would be to own the item. In looking at the row of toys, I had forgotten about where mum was, I turned around expecting to see my mum standing behind me. She wasn’t there!
Not feeling too concerned I begun to look around, Mum wasn’t anywhere nearby. So, I started to walk around the whole store, still couldn’t see her. Panic was starting to build. I ran out of Kmart and started to look in some of the other stores nearby. I still couldn’t find mum.
Tears were starting to well up in my eyes. I realised that I was lost. I ran back into Kmart running around the store, desperate to find my mum. I was too young to live by myself in a Kmart store, even though there was everything a kid needed here; toys, clothes and lollies.
After a while a voice came over the store speaker, if there is a young boy named Steven in the store your mother is at the front counter. I went up the front and there she was. My mum found me.
There is nothing worse than feeling lost. If you feel lost, it doesn’t matter how many people are around, you feel isolated. There are lots of people that feel lost in life, emotionally and spiritually. And like that 4-year-old boy they are running around searching for the answer, but looking in all the wrong places. When we feel lost, it is easy to feel forgotten. The question is ‘How do we cope when we feel forgotten?’ this feeling is all about perspective, how do we cope with this perspective of ‘feeling’ lost and forgotten?
There are three areas of our life that can give us the feeling of being lost and forgotten. But it must be said that just because we feel that way doesn’t mean that it is the reality. So let us explore these three areas and see what the scriptures tell us.
We can feel lost and forgotten in our community
Isolation is a massive issue in our communities these days. The Jews were dragged off into exile and isolation in the Old Testament. However, we create it for ourselves. We fence ourselves into our own private exile, and we wonder why we feel so alone.
The scriptures tell us that this is not a functional way to live for us:
“so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5 (NIV)
Maybe you feel like you are isolated. Maybe you feel that you are not connected anywhere, or that you are cut off from people. If you feel like this, the question then is ‘are you where God wants you to be?’ Because sometimes we are isolated because we have got ourselves outside of God’s will. But even still, if we open ourselves up to God, He can manoeuvre us (just like what He did for Esther in the scriptures) to a useful position even in the isolation.
We can feel lost and forgotten by people
We are all affected by people. We all have expectations on one another and when these expectations aren’t met, we feel let down and abandoned, whether these thoughts are rational or not.
“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.” Psalm 27:10-11 (NIV)
Do you feel like you have been abandoned by someone in your life? Is it something that you wrestle with?
We can feel lost and forgotten by God. Feeling like your forgotten by God can be so life disorienting. But once again this is a perception thing rather than a reality.
It is so easy to feel abandoned by God when you feel that your prayers aren’t being answered, when you feel nothing when you come to Church, when life feels difficult, when bad things are happening, when you feel lost and forgotten in your community, when you feel lost and forgotten by people. but these feeling are never a reality.
Perhaps Jesus is the only one to really know what it is to be truly abandoned, because of what He bore on the cross.
Perhaps you feel like you have been abandoned by God. You sense that He is ignoring you or avoiding your cries to Him. Let me tell you He has not and will not ever forget you. We might at times get cut off and be feel lost and forgotten by people and situations, but God will never forget any of us.
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139:16-17
Maybe you can understand what it is to feel forgotten or abandoned. How do you overcome the feeling of isolation, abandonment and being forgotten? Let me give you three things:
(1). Be honest and acknowledge your feelings – Admitting it to yourself is so important and the first step to healing.
(2). Be prepared to give up your feelings – Don’t let a victim mentality enable you to wallow in the feelings of being forgotten. Let it go.
(3). Come before God and let Him do a healing work – 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
The good news is that these feelings don’t need to define you, and they definitely don’t disqualify you from being used by God. Be encouraged that you are not and will not be forgotten by God.
In faith, hope and love
Pr. Steve and Cass Abram