The Day I Understood God Would Never Leave
- Tuesday, June 05, 2012
I believed as a young woman that if a relationship were to work, the two in love needed time away from each other.
During college, I found myself in a dating relationship with a young man who would often want his time away from me. Sometimes he left the parameters of our relationship to see if he would miss me, thereby insuring that he really did love me. Other times it was to see if someone better suited for him would come into his life. Still other times, he just needed time away from me -- to decompress, to have "breathing room," to feel "unattached." But each time he came back to the relationship he seemed to love me more and treat me better. Therefore, I concluded that when you love someone you need time away from them.
Eventually, though, that boyfriend left for good.
When I met Hugh, a student in Bible college, our relationship seemed perfect. Yet I was fearful that he, too, would eventually leave -- or just want time away from me. And one evening, I laid my fears out in front of him, preparing for the worst.
"Hugh, I really want things to work between us and I don't want to do anything to blow it with you. So if you need time away from me to know if I'm right for you or just to have your space or re-evaluate us, please let me know," I said, honestly, preparing to hear the all-too-familiar words that he wanted his space.
But, instead of confirming my fears, Hugh looked me straight in the eyes and said something I have never forgotten: "Cindi, God never wants time away from you. So neither will I."
It was then that my eyes were opened to two truths in front of me. First of all, a man was standing before me who actually intended to love me as God does (and I married that man, by the way!). And secondly, that man opened my eyes up to the realization that I have a God who has never wanted time away.
And so do you.
In Hebrews 13:5, we read God's Words to His people: "Never will I leave you, nor will I ever forsake you."
And in Psalm 139:7-12, He tells us there is nowhere we can go where His love will not follow. He shadows us. He sticks to us like glue. He is downright obsessive about us, if you think about it. That is a staying power that I hadn't experienced in my life. And it's a staying power I continue to hold onto today.
Do you realize that if you've spent all day with God on Sunday, He isn't tired of your voice on Monday?
If we've come to Him time and again over a burden on our hearts, He will never say, "Enough! Go tell someone else, I'm tired of hearing it."
If we have sunk so low in our depression or despair He will never say, "I just need a break from your negativity for awhile."
You and I, my friend, can know a love that will never leave. A love that never needs time away.
Because of my travels as a speaker, requiring me to be on the road or on a plane many weekends a year, and Hugh's job as a pastor, requiring him to be home shepherding the flock, it isn't true or realistic to say that my husband and I have never been apart. There are many days when he has had his space. But there has never been a day that he has insisted upon it. True, there have been times when he would've rather had his space than have to deal me regarding certain issues, but there has never been a day when I've felt driven away or that I had to leave in order for him to love me better.
Because of past hurts in my life, I've had to first trust in God's promise to never leave me. By finding my security in Him and His words, I am better able to trust in my husband's promise to never leave, as well as his devotion to God first, and then to me as his wife. It is our common love and trust in God first, that holds us together today.
If you've experienced hurt or betrayal in your life that has prevented you from trusting someone else, I encourage you to take a closer look at the God of the Scriptures who promises in His Word that He will never leave you or forsake you. Listen to the Psalmist's words (and my paraphrase in parentheses) of this love that will never leave -- or even let you out of His sight:
"If I go up to the heavens (or if I'm top of the world and don't really need you, God), you are there; if I make my bed in the depths (or if I sink so low that no one else wants to be around me anymore), you are there.
"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, (or, if I pack up and run to a place where no one else can find me), if I settle on the far side of the sea (if I go into my cave and wall myself off so no one can hurt me anymore), even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
"If I say, 'Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,' (certainly, the things I've done will make God want to have nothing to do with me), even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you" (Psalm 139:7-12).
That is passionate, pursuing love. And that is a love that you and I can experience every day of our lives, in a relationship with Christ -- the only One who can truly be ever-present in our lives.
Will you begin to let Him be your Lover who never leaves?
This article is based on Cindi's books Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs, When God Pursues a Woman's Heart, and her newest book, When a Woman Overcomes Life's Hurts.
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and author of several books including When Women Walk Alone, When a Woman Discovers Her Dream, and Women on the Edge. For more on her books and ministry, see www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.
Publication date: June 5, 2012
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