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The poor and the homeless won’t always be forgotten and without hope. Psalm 9:18 (CEV)

Looking back, I’m amazed at how my mother got five boys ready every Sunday morning for Sunday School. Those were the days of white shirts, black pants and clip-on ties. Somehow she made breakfast, had dinner in the oven and all five us in the car and on the way to church almost on time every week. Having dad as the pastor helped a little, he HAD to be there. He would often go ahead with anyone that might be ready. The rest would usually follow in a second car…just in case.

It may not come as any surprise that on occasion we’d all be called to dinner table after arriving home and notice that one chair was empty.  

“Where’s Mike?”

“He told me he was riding home with you, that he’d asked you and you said it would be okay.”

“Never saw him. I bet we forgot him at church. I’ll be back.” And with that, off dad would go to drive to church and pick up the solitary figure waiting patiently on the church steps.

It didn’t happen often, but occasionally that scene was played out for each of us kids. We’d get busy playing with a friend or exploring the back rooms of the church and find ourselves alone…forgotten. Fortunately the church was only a couple miles from home and no permanent damage occurred.

No one likes to feel like their forgotten. My story was a humorous on, but there are those who feel forgotten by God, by family or by friends on a daily basis. Their lives are filled with hopelessness, loneliness and despair. The reasons for their plight are numerous. Some have run away from abusive relationships or been sent away and feel as though God himself has forgotten them. For some their entire lives have been a battle of survival. Health issues, financial struggles, poverty all work together to bring people to their knees in despair.

The forgotten may seek comfort from the enemy of despair in many ways. Some sink into depression, some strike out in anger to take what isn’t theirs to comfort them. Others use drugs, people, or even religion to mask the pain of being ‘forgotten’.

The inevitable question in the midst of our feelings of hopelessness and being forgotten is, ‘Where is God in all this? Why hasn’t he come to my rescue?”

When you feel like God has forgotten you, remember that you are never gone from his sight. He knows your every step, your every thought, your every feeling of despair. Peter writes (2 Peter 3:9) that God isn’t slow concerning his promise. He’s patient and whatever you are going through isn’t a sign that he can’t deliver you. He can. But for reasons we may never know he’s allowing this for your strengthening.

Remember the words of Jesus (Luke 12:6) when he says that even sparrows, insignificant as they are, will never be forgotten by God.

Don’t allow the wilderness of your soul to let you think you are forgotten by your Heavenly Father. Your Father loves you. Your hope isn’t grounded in the things of this world (health, financial stability, strong relationships), your hope is grounded in eternity and the love your father has for you.

PRAYER: Father, in my despair I feel forgotten by others and even by you at times. Thank you for loving me. Help me to feel your hand upon me through this current struggle. Empower me to trust you when the future seems so bleak. I put my trust in you. Amen.

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February 2012
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