“As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.” Psalm 42:1…………..
Sometimes our most painful situations prove to provide the greatest lessons in life. Such is the case for an immeasurably painful and chronic ongoing situation in my life. Without going into detail, I have a loved one who refuses to acknowledge my existence because I spoke about something devastating that happened to me long ago. I have another loved one who acknowledges my existence but who for decades has made it abundantly clear I am the lowest on her priority list right down to being less important than dishes and the hair salon, and then denies this is the case and never asks for forgiveness or changes this reality. I love both of these people literally beyond measure, have prayed for years they would give their lives to Christ for an everlasting relationship with God instead of spending eternity in hell and the lake of fire where they are currently headed, and the Lord has given me forgiveness and mercy and compassion for them beyond description despite the ongoing pain of it all. So where is the lesson in this?
Is not what my loved ones do regarding me exactly what so many of us do regarding the Lord? One of my loved ones not only doesn’t acknowledge my existence, acting like I’m not even alive, but makes it abundantly clear I have no value in his eyes, none whatsoever, no significance, that I make no difference to him whatsoever. Is that not exactly how some of us act regarding the Lord? We just go about our lives like He doesn’t exist.
My other loved one definitely loves me, and shows that love to me, for which I am exceedingly thankful, but she has to squeeze me into her calendar after she has filled up her calendar with everything else. And when she has time for me, she makes it totally clear she’s making a sacrifice for me, like it’s a great imposition, and then basically watches her watch to make sure we stay within the confines of the extremely limited time she has managed to find to give to me. Is that not what some of us do with the Lord? We do everything else in our lives, and everything and everyone else is in essence more important if we’re totally honest, and then because we do love the Lord, or we profess to anyway, and feel obligated to Him, we carve out a tiny bit of space in our calendars, after our calendars are filled with everything else, and we give him that time – and keep our eyes on our watches to make sure we don’t give Him one more minute than we feel we can afford. Then we scurry back to our priorities.
My beloved friends love me, and have compassion for me, but the truth is nobody on this earth will ever truly understand the depths of pain I experience every day of my life, and have for decades, because of how my loved ones have acted toward me. But not one single ounce of this pain compares with the pain I believe we cause the Lord God almighty who created this world, who created us, who sent His Son to the cross so we as sinners would have a way to have a relationship with God we could not otherwise have, who calls us to repent and believe in Christ as Lord, giving Him our lives so we can be forgiven and have a forever relationship with Him, who blesses us every day with life and what we need to live it, most importantly Himself.
Pain we cause the Lord? Yes! Do you think it does not pain the Lord beyond measure, the Lord who has a heart, when His very Creation He created, we humans, whom He created to have forever intimate fellowship with Him as Lord, either refuse to acknowledge Him at all or acknowledge Him but don’t make Him our highest priority each and every day of our lives? I can’t even fathom the pain we cause Him. Perhaps my loved ones if they both acknowledged me and made me a priority would find a blessing in receiving my immeasurable love for them and would truly enjoy and experience having a healthy and abundant close relationship and fellowship with me. But this message isn’t about them and me. It’s about you, me, and the Lord. That said, not only must we cause matchless pain to the Lord when we outright reject Him or don’t make Him our highest priority, but let us consider that we ourselves miss out on the heights and depths and delight and boundless joy of knowing and being loved by and loving and experiencing moment by moment as our highest priority the forever fellowship of the Lord Jesus Christ!