Amidst the countless trials of 2020, have you wondered if God has forgotten you?
When prayers go unanswered, when illness strikes, when businesses fail, when other heartbreak happens...or it’s 2020...we can come to that conclusion.
And that conclusion couldn’t be more wrong.
2 + 2 ≠ 5.
Like everyone, I’ve had my share of times when life didn’t turn out as I had hoped and prayed. 2020 has just served up different “flavors” of disappointment and questions for us all.
So how do we deal with those feelings of being let down or even forgotten by God?
Step 1: While feelings matter a lot, remember that feelings are not always fact. Yes, all too often, I allow my feelings to reign. (I could probably be caricatured as a heart with arms and legs attached.) But I remind myself that I am part of a bigger story. His story. It’s not all about me.
I ask God to show me His perspective. Sometimes, I get clarification immediately. Sometimes, it takes a while. Reading The Bible refocuses me on the truth, and helps me pivot from self-focus to God-focus.
Step 2: Reflect on God’s faithfulness, life-to-date. Look back on your life. You will undoubtedly see, time and time again, how God has protected you, provided for you and shown His love for you. Just because circumstances are difficult right now doesn’t mean that God has forgotten you. Diamonds develop under extreme pressure and our character can too. Trust God with the process.
Step 3: Listen and learn from others who have suffered. One of the most inspiring examples of our day comes from Katherine and Jay Wolf, authors of Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything. Despite devastating health circumstances experienced by Katherine, this couple is providing profound encouragement through their message and their ministry.
Step 4: Adjust your perspective. Think about what happens when you change the depth of field when taking a photograph. An entirely different picture emerges when the focus changes from close up to far away.
This passage from Hebrews 12 provides great advice: “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed - that exhilarating finish in and with God - he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (The Message)
Step 5: Ask God for evidence. There’s nothing wrong with asking God to show you in a tangible way that He hasn’t forgotten you. I think that’s a prayer He loves to answer. Open your eyes and be expectant. When I've done that, I've found His love delivered in a variety of ways such as the kindness of another person, the beauty of a breathtaking sunrise or even the sweetness of a meaningful song.
Are you familiar with the old hymn “His Eyes Are On the Sparrow?” This beautiful duet, by David Carnes on piano and Sam Skelton on saxophone, always touches my heart. I hope it will remind you that God’s eyes are on you, too. You are seen, you are loved, you are not forgotten.
I think He wanted me to remind you!