Have you ever felt that God has left you? Have you ever felt that God would never let this happen to you unless He was gone? Have you ever prayed and had it seem like nothing happened? God hasn't left you.
Last night, I was thinking about Adam and Eve. (I do this kind of stuff when I'm just about to fall asleep; I think a lot.) Do you remember when God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden for sinning? If not, let me freshen your memory:
Genesis 3: 23-24
23 So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. 24 After sending them out, the Lord
God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he
placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to
the tree of life.
I was thinking about this, and I realized that it said nothing of God putting them in a spiritual time-out. God didn't forsake them, even though they messed up. How amazing is that!
I see the story this way: Two kids decide that they want to eat this potentially poisonous fruit, even though Dad forbade them from eating it. A snake comes slithering down the branch to the girl and tempts her, seduces her, cajoles her, until finally she eats a piece of the fruit. Yummy! She hands a piece of it to her brother who-- mmm!-- thinks it's so good, too. In an instant, they realize what they did, and also begin to realize that they would have to pay for their disobedience. The rose colored glasses have been thrown off, and they see the truth in every possible way.
After a while, Daddy comes in, and He looks around for his children. They are hiding from Him, and He calls for them. They say, "We are hiding because we are ashamed." The Father knows what they did, but pretends to be surprised. The children blame each other, but the Father knows what happened. Daddy doesn't want to punish His children, but He told them what would happen if they ate the fruit, and He needs to keep His word. The Father banishes His beloved children from the paradise He made for them. He made them mere mortals, and stripped away all the special things He gave them. He placed a guard at the east of paradise to keep anymore beloveds from coming in. But He stays with His children. He does not stay in paradise alone. He does not make His children suffer without His presence. The special bond between them has been broken forever, but He still loves them more than anyone else ever will.
Let me repeat, this is the way I see the story, not biblical fact. However, I don't think that the Father would forsake His children in the wild with no experience, and no presence of Him. God never leaves us, even when we can't feel him. God loves us, and sees us as His children. A heavenly Father would never forsake His children; not matter how they've sinned.
Even if you feel desperately alone, forsaken, and unloved, God is always there and He will never leave you. He is your Father, who is perfect, loyal, and everlasting.