Do you ever feel as if God might have overlooked or even forgotten you? I know something about how that feels.
I remember lying in bed at night during my childhood, listening as my drunken father rampaged through our little house. The next day, sobered up, he seldom remembered anything about the previous night. I learned to tiptoe around the house, to avoid drawing attention to myself, and to take shelter in my bedroom behind a closed door.
Sometimes I chose to believe God knew our situation and cared, but many times I felt forgotten by God. Later in life, I discovered that many people experience similar feelings. Though our circumstances and life histories vary, all of us testify to feeling forgotten by God. Decades later, we still bear scars from our experiences.
When I was in my mid-twenties, a woman visited the church I pastored. I paid a pastoral visit to her. After we sat down, she looked me in the eye and said, “You’re the child of an alcoholic, aren’t you?” This proved to be the beginning of my life-long healing process.
In addition to the psychological and behavioral elements, my healing brought a profound spiritual insight: God had never forgotten me. I looked back into my childhood and realized that adults outside my family had noticed me, deduced my situation, and tried to be there for me. The longer I pondered this, the more I concluded that God had sent them to me. God had not forgotten me.
Isaiah’s description of the God who creates, numbers, and recalls the names of each of the stars rings true for me. God always knew my name and found a way to reach into the darkness surrounding me, guiding me out and giving me a chance to become who God created me to be.
Do you feel forgotten by God? Why? Are you willing to try to look for the ways in which God might be reaching out to you?
God, you never forgot or lost sight of your ancient people. Help me sense the ways in which you see and provide for me. Amen.