Loss is a debilitating feeling. Something as simple as losing your keys creates anxiety and unsettledness until they are found. The loss of a job triggers fears, insecurities and doubts, the feeling of being abandoned by God. The loss of someone dear creates a sense of desperation, a longing that is never fulfilled.
We’ve been in a series at Cross Point called Cover to Cover, where we are looking at the entire story of the Bible and unpacking the themes that God has woven throughout it. We’ve also had a daily scripture reading plan and daily devotional where we can share our thoughts and learnings with one another.
Abandoned by God?
Today we read John 20:1-18.
In this passage, Mary and the disciples are reeling from their loss. Not only did they lose Jesus to death, but they soon discover his body is now missing too. One more loss to compound their sadness.
But look closely at how they respond …
Simon Peter and the other disciple looked into the tomb, saw the strips of linen and Jesus’ burial cloth, and accepted it as evidence that Jesus’ body was gone. Scripture tells us they went home.
But Mary, seeing the same evidence, stayed awhile longer. She stood outside the tomb crying. It seems that she couldn’t quite bring herself to leave. She grieved.
And then the story turned.
Mary didn’t recognize Jesus immediately. I wonder if He looked different. He wasn’t the crucified version that she lost. Mary was looking for a beaten and battered body. Jesus showed up differently than she expected, and she didn’t recognize him at first.
When you feel abandoned by God or experience loss, do you leave or do you grieve? Do you look for Jesus or assume He’s gone?
Too many times in my life, I’ve allowed loss to lead me to believe I was abandoned by God. When a circumstance didn’t turn out the way I hoped or I lost someone or something valuable, I assumed God was gone too. But time and time again I discover that He is there. He might look different or behave differently than I thought He would, but He is there.
So often in our lives, we fixate on what we’ve lost rather than seeing what we’ve found. God is there. He’s in your circumstance. He might look a little different than you expected. He might show up in a different way than you hoped, but He is there.
Is there a situation in your life where you feel abandoned byy God? Look closely. Maybe he is there just waiting for you to rediscover Him.