We all experience a feeling of abandonment as we journey through life. How can we deal with these terrible feelings of distress and isolation? Here are some ways.
Psalm 038 - Abandonment - Aneel Aranha
LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
Your arrows have pierced me,
and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and are loathsome
because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
I groan in anguish of heart.
All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
even the light has gone from my eyes.
My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
my neighbors stay far away.
Those who want to kill me set their traps,
those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
all day long they scheme and lie.
I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
like the mute, who cannot speak;
I have become like one who does not hear,
whose mouth can offer no reply.
LORD, I wait for you;
you will answer, Lord my God.
For I said, “Do not let them gloat
or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”
For I am about to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.
I confess my iniquity;
I am troubled by my sin.
Many have become my enemies without cause;
those who hate me without reason are numerous.
Those who repay my good with evil
lodge accusations against me,
though I seek only to do what is good.
LORD, do not forsake me;
do not be far from me, my God.
Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my Savior.
Very often, when we go through life, we feel alone. We feel abandoned, not just by people, but by God too. Sometimes this may be self-inflicted as a consequence of doing something wrong. Ashamed of our actions, we try to hide, as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. But sometimes, we can feel abandoned, even when we have NOT done anything wrong.
David has gone through such moments and, always expressive about his feelings, he shares what he is going through. He describes physical and emotional suffering and the feeling that his friends and family have abandoned him. He experiences a deep sense of distress and isolation and feels that even God has turned his face away. Despite this, the psalmist does not necessarily attribute his suffering to any specific sin but to a general consequence of living in a fallen world.
Do you feel abandoned? This feeling, especially of abandonment by God, can be a difficult and challenging experience. It can call into question our faith and our relationship with God. However, it is important to remember that we are not alone in these feelings. Every spiritually inclined person who travels on the narrow path that leads to life goes through such moments, sometimes frequently. Even Jesus experienced this on the cross as he cried out, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" (which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?") (Matthew 27:46).
How can we deal with such feelings? One, seek support from others. We are not meant to go through difficult times alone. Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or a pastor for support and encouragement.
Two, read and meditate on Scripture. The Bible is full of stories of people who experienced abandonment or isolation and how God met them amid their struggles.
Three, pray honestly. It's okay to be honest with God about how we are feeling, expressing our doubts, fears, and frustrations. Remember that God already knows what's in our hearts and desires an authentic relationship with us.
Four, look after yourself. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This might include getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, and engaging in activities that bring you joy.
Five, look for opportunities to serve others: Sometimes, focusing on the needs of others can help take our minds off our own struggles. And finally, seek professional help if the feelings of abandonment go on for too long.
Remember, through everything, that feeling abandoned by God does not mean that God has actually abandoned us. He is always present with us, even in the midst of the darkness, and will soon bathe you in his light and love.
God bless you.