I guess at times everyone feels unnoticed or left out. But when being forgotten seems to be the pattern of your life, you may question your value as a person. When others view you as unimportant, it's easy to think that God feels the same way.
When I was younger, I would try to picture myself in heaven. I would imagine crowds of happy-faced people assembled before God's throne. And there I would stand, lost somewhere in that vast sea of smiling saints, completely overlooked by God.
Sometimes difficult circumstances lead to feelings of aloneness and abandonment. Isolation because of a prolonged illness, the death of a loved one, divorce, the loss of a much-deserved promotion, retirement after a lifetime of being active, moving to a nursing home--any of these can trigger a sense of aloneness or a loss of self-esteem.
In the midst of overwhelming circumstances both Job and David felt forgotten: "My relatives have failed me, my friends have all forsaken me" (Job 19:14, The Living Bible). "I am a dread to my friends--those who see me on the street flee from me. I am forgotten by them as though I were dead" (Psalm 31:11–12, NIV). David cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Psalm 22:1). Centuries later Jesus repeated David's cry as He suffered on the cross (Matthew 27:46).
Jesus' friends abandoned Him when He needed them the most. During the agony of His crucifixion Jesus felt abandoned by His Father. But God did not forget Him, nor will He forget us. Even if everyone deserts us, He will not. David reminded himself, "I am poor and needy, yet the Lord is thinking about me right now!" (Psalm 40:17, The Living Bible).
No matter how desperate or lonely our situation, we are always on God's mind.
Jesus promised, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). Others may renege on their promises but God will not. "God is not a man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind" (Numbers 23:19). David confidently declared, "If my father and mother should abandon me, you would welcome and comfort me" (Psalm 27:10, The Living Bible). Job looked forward to someday personally seeing God, "I myself will see him with my own eyes. . . . How my heart yearns within me" (Job 19:27, NIV).
Not only does God never forget about us, He also wants to use the painful, lonely times to show us His deep love and tender concern. When we make an effort to draw closer to Him, He will draw closer to us (James 4:8). As we keep bringing our pain, sorrow and loneliness to God, asking for His strength and comfort, we will sense His love and compassion for us as unique individuals.
Someday we will look back and realize that God used the times when we felt overlooked, forgotten and devalued by others to show us how much He loves and values us.
© by Nancy A. Stevens