Separation Anxiety

ImageI have put “separation anxiety” in every context I can, thought about scriptures that it would apply to and then Googled it. Basically it is a fear of being separated from ones that you love by distance, illness or death. That is just a thumbnail of all I have read about it. Then I decided not to explore it further and just opened my Bible to find one of my “comfort” scriptures. What did I see? I’ll tell you in a minute. Moses was raised in the house of the Pharaoh as a son, but when events revealed his true heritage and he ended up being sent into a far country, alone, I’m sure he felt very separate from all he had known. God anointed him and gave him a wife in that desert and he led his people out of Egypt to the Promised Land. When Joseph was thrown into a pit and sold as a slave, I’m sure, as he walked off into the distant desert, he looked back at his betraying brothers and felt a great separation from his beloved father, Jacob, but he became their savior by saving them from starvation. I could go on and on with Bible stories, but I am more interested in what you are feeling. I have felt separation from loved friends, because we moved often as a minister’s family, from people that I loved and worked with in the church that left and went to other places, and even family that became estranged for reasons beyond my control, and finally, and more importantly, from parts of my ministry that I loved. It is the feeling of separation and, with me, rejection. I wouldn’t say that out loud but I do feel you bleeding and dying and wishing someone could see what you are going through, even as you are reading this, looking for help from some source outside yourself. Think of the disciples separating themselves from Jesus in the Garden as the soldiers came to arrest Him. That must have been terrible. They loved Him, but were afraid to be identified with Him out of fear for their lives. The greatest separation of all from the beginning of time until now, would have to be the separation that Jesus felt as He hung on the cross bearing our ugly sins. He cried out: Matthew 15:34 At three o’clock, Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” I cannot bear to think of how dreadful that was for Him. He gave His life out of obedience to the Father that turned His back on Him; because of the sin He bore for us. Father’s abandon wives and children, Mother’s leave husbands and the babies they carried in their womb, bosses turn on employees that have sacrificed to help raise a company, friends may shun you, but this is the verse I told you I would share, it means everything to me: Romans 8:37-39 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? The One who died for us, who was raised to life for us! The One who is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us! Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. If that doesn’t do it for you, I don’t know what will! LOVE!

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