We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions. We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends. From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry. We call them our “Friday Friends.” So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our “Friday Friend,” Arlene Pellicane.
Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? (Psalm 10:1, NIV).
Friend to Friend
When my son Ethan was two, we lost him. On purpose.
Like most parents, we were constantly waiting for our toddler to catch up, keep up, and stay behind us. But with so many trains, toys, and cars to look at in Walmart, what was a boy to do except stop every three feet.
One day, we turned the tables.
While he stopped to look at the thrilling Thomas the Train bedding set, my husband James signaled me to walk ahead and keep shopping. He ducked into an aisle to hide from little Ethan.
When Ethan looked up about a minute later, he realized we were gone. Completely out of sight. He started to wail and cry. He panicked. A nice mom walked towards him but James caught her eye and waved her away.
About 30 seconds later, James scooped up teary-eyed Ethan and said, “When you’re in the store, you have to follow me, okay? There are a lot of people in here and we don’t want you to get lost. I was watching you the whole time but I wanted to make sure you understood that you have to follow me or else you’ll get lost.”
Ethan got the message loud and clear.
Have you ever felt abandoned like Ethan? Maybe you’ve wandered down the aisle of the grocery store and thought “God, do you see me? I feel all alone. I could use some help and You’re nowhere to be found.”
Did James ever abandon Ethan in Walmart? No, his father eyes were on his son the whole time. It was Ethan who had taken his eyes off his dad.
When we feel abandoned, it’s not because God has walked away from us. It’s because we have strayed away from Him. We can get distracted by a million little things or one huge problem. Instead of pressing close to Jesus and squeezing His hand tight, we take our eyes off Jesus and fix them squarely on the challenges facing us instead.
We may walk away, but we are never out of the range of His gaze.
He is not standing far off after all. You can walk back into the warmth of His presence right now. Even in the middle of Walmart or wherever you find yourself today.
Heavenly Father, thank you that You see me. You haven’t abandoned me. You do not stand far off. As it says in Psalm 17:8, keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings. Help me to be aware of Your presence today. Guide me Holy Spirit and shine truth into my life. I make the conscious choice to follow where you lead me today.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Sometimes we get it backwards. We say to Jesus, “Here’s what I’m doing. Please follow me and bless me” instead of saying, “Lord, take the lead. I’ll follow You today.” Jesus said to His followers in Matthew 4:19 “Come follow Me,” not the other way around.
Can you relate? Do you find yourself calling the shots in your day-to-day life instead of seeking the Lord for His direction each morning?
Write a prayer of surrender to God. Include a line of thanksgiving because He will never leave or forsake you.
More from the Girlfriends
Need more joy in your family life? Want to know you’re not alone as you navigate screens and kids, or a ho-hum marriage? Listen to Arlene’s Happy Home podcast for marriage and parenting advice that works.
Today’s devotion is from Arlene Pellicane, co-author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen Driven World (written with Dr. Gary Chapman) and 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. Visit www.ArlenePellicane.com for more including free resources.