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Isaiah 60:15, 21

“You were once abandoned and despised, with no one passing through, but I will make you a permanent source of pride and joy to coming generations.  21 All of your people will be godly, they will possess the land permanently.  I will plant them like a shoot; they will be the product of my labor, through whom I will reveal my splendor.”

Isaiah 62:4, 12

“You will no longer be called “Abandoned”, and your land will no longer be called “Desolate”.  Indeed, you will be called, “My delight is in her,” and your land, “married.”  For the LORD will take delight in you and your land will be married to him.  12 They will be called, “The Holy people, the Ones protected by the LORD.”  You will be called, “Sought after, city not abandoned.”

Isaiah 63:8-9

“He said, “certainly they will be my people, children who are not disloyal.”  He became their deliverer.”  9 Through all that they suffered, he suffered, too.  The messenger sent from His very presence delivered them.  In His love and mercy He protected them; He lifted them up and carried them throughout ancient times.”

As a child, I remember feeling terrified when I thought my family was gone.  Alone on the seashore, they had gone to deeper waters.  Sweet relief embraced me upon their return.  But life does not always bring happy endings.

Later, when my parents divorced and I moved from home to home, the emptiness and adjustment to constant change swallowed me whole.  I felt I was not really alive inside, going through life.  Home was no longer anywhere.

As an adult, I longed to take one child from abandonment and to love them as my own.  My son Samuel was once named “Artur Nekayenko Romanovich”.  He was left on the side of a road in his stroller by his birth mom in front of a hospital.  Who knows what he felt in that moment?  In orphanages for the next two years, He had to fend for himself.  When we came to adopt Samuel, the feeling of gaining a son from such a place is impossible to adequately convey.  He was abandoned no more.

Years later, when my children and I were left with the consequences of sinful choices from another family member, the pain from that abandonment engulfed us in a sea of shock and disbelief.  This was not supposed to happen to us.  But it did.

So it is with our salvation.  Somehow, somewhere, we will each be abandoned in some way.  A hope we had is dashed, a life we knew is gone forever.  Or maybe someone we trusted fully turned out to be someone very different.  But God.

He longs to take us from that place of hurt and restore us.  No matter what stage we are at in our grief, or what the future on this earth holds, right here and now we can know that He accepts us and will never reject us.

Abandonment evokes raw emotions in all of us.  Not one of us would seek to be left or uncared for.  The fear of rejection can paralyze us and keep us from developing relationships of trust, but God.  Isaiah 63:8-9 is precious to me.  God suffers with us.  He carries us.  He is our Deliverer.  We are abandoned no more.

The hope we have in Christ is complete acceptance and love.  We might not experience it from mankind on this earth, but we can experience it in Christ now.  Sometimes we will have a level of restoration on this earth, but ultimately our greatest joy is in our relationship with Christ.

If we will take the risk and let go of the pain of rejection that holds us captive, we are free to experience new blessings and joys, as well as sorrows.  Protecting ourselves from pain is not the highest goal, rather walking through the pain through the love of God and the wonderful liberty of Christ.  Forgiving those who could not give us the unconditional love we sought and giving it to them instead is powerful healing for them and ultimately for ourselves, as well.

Lord, thank You for adopting us and loving us unconditionally.  We do not deserve Your favor, but You lavish it on us.  Help us to release hurt and rejection and to know that we are the apple of Your eye.  You delight in us and never abandon us.  Thank You, God!

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