Jesus said He would not leave us orphans, so why do many of us feel abandoned?
One night, as toddlers, my sister and I woke up in my parents’ car. Mommy and Daddy weren’t in the front seat. We didn’t recognize the street or house where we were parked. I felt swallowed up by darkness. Panic gripped us both. My little heart never felt so abandoned and alone. We both cried and cried. Finally, we mustered the courage to walk up to the front door. Surely, someone could help us find our parents. We stood under the glow of the porch light as I timidly knocked on the door. Mom and Dad answered. As soon as they saw our frightened faces, they scooped us up in their arms.
We had fallen asleep in our familiar beds but woke up in a strange place. Our parents had carried their sleeping babes into the car so they could check out a new house for us to live in. Now we understood what had happened. We weren’t abandoned. We just couldn’t see them.
JESUS KNEW WE WOULD FEEL LIKE ORPHANS
Have you ever felt all alone in the world? It’s a terrifying experience. Right before He went to the c ross, Jesus told his disciples He would not leave them orphans. He was about to leave the twelve after fathering them every day for three years. He wanted to reassure them that His absence would be temporary, and that Holy Spirit would guide them on this earth until His return.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Savior, the Holy Spirit of Truth, who will be to you a friend just like me–and he will never leave you. The world won’t receive him because they can’t see him or know him. But you know him intimately because he remains with you and will live inside you.
“I promise that I will never leave you helpless or abandon you as orphans–I will come back to you!” John 14: 16-17 TPT
Jesus told his disciples they weren’t orphans because he knew when he left that’s exactly how they would feel.
God wants us to know He is always with us. However, feelings of abandonment easily overshadow the promises He gives us. We feel alone in the world, even though Jesus lives within us. We can describe this feeling as an “orphaned heart.”
THE ORPHANED HEART WITHIN
How do we know if we have an orphaned heart? Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Do you have trouble believing you are valued, honored, and loved by Father God?
- Do you work hard to please God (or people) but think you fall short?
- Are you driven by ambition to succeed?
- Is it difficult for you to receive a compliment?
PROTECTION OR ISOLATION?
My husband and I watched the movie Dune last week at the Imax theater. I brought my earplugs since I already have some hearing loss, and I like to protect my ears from loud noises. However, when the characters were having a conversation, I couldn’t hear what went on unless I removed my earplugs.
Likewise, we all have coping mechanisms to protect ourselves from being hurt. However, these same survival techniques can isolate us from deeper communication with those we love if we are afraid to be vulnerable.
As I grew in my Christian walk, I noticed that sometimes I had “earplugs” over my heart. If someone complimented me about something, deep down I felt like I didn’t do enough to deserve it. Although I appreciated the kind words said about me, they didn’t reach deep into my heart.
Why is it much easier to give others praise than to receive it ourselves? Perhaps it’s because we tend to base our worth on what we accomplish, and not on our unconditional acceptance by God. We have “head” but not “heart” knowledge of His affection for us.
Has someone ever hugged you, but your heart wasn’t in it? Maybe it was your Great Aunt Matilda who always pinched your cheeks as a child and told you how much you’ve grown.
In the same manner, we can create barriers to receiving God’s loving embrace. If we don’t think we are worthy of His love, if we have been hurt by fathers, or if we are mad at God, we can’t feel His tenderness or mercy.
A FAMOUS CHRISTIAN WHO STRUGGLED WITH AN ORPHAN SPIRIT
The late Derek Prince led a powerful and effective international ministry for over 50 years and held evangelistic crusades that drew tens of thousands of people. He was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit but felt orphaned and tormented every day despite his success. At age 80, he finally experienced the Father’s love. Doctrinally, he had always understood that truth and even preached on knowing God as Father. But in one moment, while lying in bed, he experienced the Father’s love, which dismantled the oppression he had endured his whole life.
“And you did not receive the ‘spirit of religious duty’, leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the ‘Spirit of full acceptance,’ enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the words of tender affection, Beloved Father!'” Romans 8:15 TPT
So what does that have to do with your destiny?
LEARN TO WAIT ON GOD
We can hear our Father’s whispers better when we are enfolded in His embrace.
When our journey is driven by discontent and selfish ambition, our Christian witness loses much of its impact.
When we humbly learn to wait on God, He will answer us with His Presence. See my blog, God Gives Us Wings to Rise Above the Storm!
As a toddler, I stood under the porch light where I could see the front door and ring the bell. In like fashion, the light of God’s word is shining upon you. Pray (ring the bell) and ask God to open the door. He has not abandoned you. You just can’t see Him yet.
Lord, thank you for helping me face my feelings of being alone and not feeling valued. I know those beliefs don’t come from you. I want to experience your fervent love for me. Help me expectantly wait for you to open the door.