Today’s Word: ‘ABANDON’ as in… God will not abandon us. Ever.
To think otherwise, while part of our natural and normal wiring, is the second temptation in Matthew’s archetypal story of temptation in Matthew 4:1-11.
In this second of three temptations the ‘tempter’ takes Jesus to the highest point of the temple and casts doubt by saying something like this:
“If you really are who you say you are, and if God really is who we think God is, then let’s just put God to the test by creating some havoc. Let’s see if God can rescue you. After all, it says right here…”
Jesus interrupts. “Uhhhh, we’re not doing that. God’s promise of faithfulness counterchecks any thought that I’d have to test God.”
When we’re in a bind; in that tight spot between a rock and hard place, it’s easy to default to the really odd reasoning that if ‘God is God’ and ‘God is in control’ then this certainly wouldn’t be happening. Hence the bind: Either God is not in control or God has abandoned me. Or both. If those are our only two choices, then we’ve really got a problem.
Binaries are always troublesome.
When we’re hungry, agitated, lonely or tired, Everything-Adversarial-to-God gangs up to cast doubt on God’s ability to show up when the going gets tough.
But when is God ever not present? When life gets nutty, it’s easy to wonder where God is. When we feel knocked down or abandoned we’ll do just about anything to get ourselves back up and on our way. But we know this about ourselves: we don’t choose very well.
When the ‘tempter’ says, “Jesus, throw yourself down from the highest point and let God come to your rescue!” it’s an attempt to get Jesus to put God to the test instead of trusting the promise that’s already been given. We’ll always have to deal with the seeds of doubt that creep in on us and suggest that “God is nowhere.” But the really good news for us today is that “God is now here.”
God will never, ever abandon us. Ever.