When I returned from vacation and checked my email, I got the news of two deaths, one cancer treatment and one birth. Life. One death was of a good friend who birthed a still-born son, which as a mom touched my heart deeply. I knew my friend would be second guessing herself, asking the "why" questions and struggling. Of course, she is, but her faith is strong and she is walking through this dark time trusting in the Lord. When I thought about each of these emails, I just kept thinking of Hebrews 13:5,
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
6 So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”
In context, Hebrews 13:4-6 reminds us that God gives/takes away in regards to our possessions, that no matter the circumstances, He is with us and we don't have to be afraid.
Of course, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" are the two phrases that kept coming to mind, reminding me that all of these people, the ones dealing with death, cancer and an additional child to nuture all needed the comfort this verse gives. As I meditated on this partial verse, I wondered if the Lord was trying to say two different, yet complementary things or was it repeated for emphasis. I think a little bit of both is true.
In Webster's dictionary leave meant: to go away from or to fail to include or take along. Forsake meant: to renounce or turn away from entirely. Not only is the Lord staying with us, but He is also going to include us. We can't do anything, as believers, to make Him renounce us or turn away from us completely.
If I were going through dark times right now that would bring me comfort, but it also speaks to my heart in the calmness of today. He's going to include me. The sin that I repeatedly struggle with is not going to wear Him out so that He wants to give up on me. Today, He is with me. If/when I acknowledge His presence in my life moment by moment He is there to faithfully guide. He will never leave; He will never forsake. Our God is faithful!
May you find all you need today in His presence.