Panic was near and my tears were bubbling up from within, about to pour out of my worried eyes as I scanned the crowd. I had only gotten distracted for a moment. Captured by something shiny and pulled away into my own 8-year-old world in the middle of Walmart. How could I let this happen? I wondered. My Uncle Kevin was right beside me when I turned away, and now, he’s gone. And he left me all alone in a crowded aisle.
Fast forward thirty years. My heart feels eerily similar to my 8-year-old heart at that moment in Walmart. My distractions are much different today than back then, sure. But distracting, nonetheless. Since about March of this year, I’ve been dealing with health issues. I wish I could tell you what, exactly, but after months, a stack of doctor bills, and multiple doctors later, I’m still none the wiser about my issue. What I am, is distracted. Distracted by the discomfort, by the way it continues to rob me of things I enjoy, by the way I’ve prayed earnestly and still have no healing and no answers. I have become distracted and in my distraction; I feel abandoned.
As my eyes scanned the aisle relentlessly for what seemed like an eternity, my ears caught a familiar melody. The familiar melody; my uncle’s voice. Immediately, my head whipped around and I locked eyes with him. Found! My heart cried. I can still remember the feeling of relief when I could see him. (I can also still remember the way he was chuckling, like he may or may not have hidden from me on purpose. Insert eye roll.) I could finally see him, but he was watching me the whole time. He was never worried. I was never lost; he was always there.
Friend, can I encourage us today? You are not lost. If you are a child of God, you are not lost. Your life may be in turmoil, your health may not be great, your kids may not be minding, but if you are IN Christ Jesus, you are not hidden from Him. You are hidden IN Him. He is our safe place. He is the one who watches over us, who guides, protects, and provides for us (Psalm 23:1). We feel alone and He seems distant because we have distanced ourselves from Him. We have become distracted with our problems rather than focusing on the Prince of Peace. And when I say we, I am here with you. This devotion is for me more than you today, I assure you. I’m reminded of a promise in John 14. And it has comforted me as I pray it comforts you.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. — John 14:16 (CSB)
When God couldn’t be with us, He sent Jesus. When Jesus couldn’t stay with us, He sent the Comforter to dwell in us. You are not hidden from His sight. You are hidden in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91:4). He sees you and He is with you. Lock eyes with the Father and hurry back to Him.
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or in dread of them, for the Lord your God is the One who is going with you. He will not desert you or abandon you.” —Deuteronomy 31:6 (NASB2020)
Cassie Downs is the author of Chasing Jesus and Unrivaled, both 60-day devotionals and founder of Everyday Jesus Ministry. Connect with her online at everyday-jesus.com. Cassie’s books are available locally and Amazon.com.