Thursday, April 8, 2021
Yesterday morning a news story caught my attention. Video captured by a Border Patrol officer shows a young boy, tears streaming down his face, who had apparently been abandoned alone in the desert in Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border. The boy was seen in the video walking down an empty dirt road.
“I came with a group, they dumped me, and I don’t know where they are,” the minor said between sobs to a motorist who was in the area. The boy told an off-duty Border Patrol officer, “They can rob me, kidnap me. I am afraid.”
The world is filled with the tragedy of human abandonment. Fathers and mothers abandon their children to pursue their own dreams. Husbands abandon their wives in search of a better life with someone else. Wives do it too. Employees abandon their posts to follow their impulses and seek immediate gratification. Even in the church there is abandonment, as shepherds leave their sheep for a presumed better flock, and sheep leave their shepherds for possible greener pastures.
Jesus understood abandonment through experience. He was abandoned by the people He came to save. He was abandoned by those who had one time followed Him. He was preparing to be abandoned by the Father to the point of death so He would cry out, “Why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus knew what it meant to be abandoned, so He compassionately reached out to those who would soon feel the same abandonment. He has told the disciples that He is leaving them, so now He assures them that it is not abandonment.
John 14:18-19 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.”
This statement of Jesus is packed with truth. When we choose to believe in Jesus, we are never left alone. His promise to us is that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He has come to us as He promised by sending His Spirit to permanently dwell in us. We are not orphans. The love of God is being constantly lavished upon us because we are His eternal children.
Yet the world does not see Him or know Him. Those who do not believe in Jesus are orphans by choice. We who believe are promised life because He who dwells in us is alive. Not so for unbelievers. How sad. If only their spiritual eyes were opened so they could see Jesus, then they too could live. If we who are alive would abandon our worldly pursuits and give them a view of life as a child of God, maybe they would abandon their unbelief and turn to Jesus.
We who know we will never be abandoned must choose to abandon everything that contradicts the life of Christ in us. When we do, we become the living evidence of the resurrected life of Christ. We are surrounded by people who are ready to meet Jesus. Show them that they can.