I wrapped an old jacket around myself and slammed the door of my dingy apartment. At four in the morning, it was safer and easier to hit the crack dealer on the corner. I lived in a horrible home. Satan had taken my kids, my family, my home and my job.
I lived to find enough money for the next hit. And when high on whatever I smoked, I groaned and cried at God.
Where was He? Why did He leave me? I knew that answer. I wasn't worth Him sticking around me—a drug addict, a loser and a sinner.
He'd left me. He'd gone from my home. I traveled looking for him. From state to state I went, but never found Him. And when darkness was just about to choke me, I gave one more cry till it seemed as if no more breath was in me. And when I had nothing, no apartment and no family, I wonder why I still lived.
That's when God touched my withered soul and said, "I never left you ... been right here by your side."
With Pamela's permission, I share her story. Her question about the absence of God is not rare or uncommon. When despair hits, we assume He's left us. The reasons are many. Maybe it's not addiction to crack but a crack in our heart that begs to be healed, or sin, or someone's harsh admonition or false condemnation.
Because of the above, we're emotionally beaten and wounded; we slide away from God. Eventually, he becomes a distant concept. And from far away, He seems to be an abstract image. He seems silent and unaware of our despair.
But He's not. He's alive, vibrant and active! He's still waiting, still calling, still loving and still hoping.
He's hoping the child who ran away would ease back into His arms, nestle in His grace and listen to the truth: Humans are flawed, fickle, weak and often wrong. But God is forever loving, forgiving and forever our Father.
He is also "... gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger, and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His compassion is over all His works" (Ps. 145:7-9).
Pamela saw this very compassion firsthand. She left her destructive ways behind, repented, and hope filled her once again as God restored her family. She now lives to serve Christ. And with unbridled boldness, she testifies to the pain of the past while living without Jesus. And now she tastes the peace that filters through with Him at the center.
As she shares her testimony with contagious courage, she repeats this verse:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and He raised us up and seated us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:4-7).
Will you embrace the kindness He offers?
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