Deut 31:6-8 I Will Never Leave You
The woman with a mastectomy, he kissed her scars
The solder who lost his legs, climbed in his hospital bed
Joshua is be the daunting task of succeeding Moses. The Word of God is given to Moses to speak to Joshua. “Be strong and courageous, I will never leave you or forsake you” What powerful words. God repeats those words to Joshua directly. They were the words Joshua needed to hear and the words we need to hear, words of healing. These are words you need to hear from God and words you need to share with others.
In a little Mennonite church the son of one elder and the daughter of another stood with the pastor and confessed they gave into temptation and now she was pregnant. The pastor thanked them for their courage to face their sin, then read 1 John 1:9 to the congregation. The congregation then came forward and laying hands on them pledged to help them raise their child. It was 1972. The pastor was the president of the first seminary I went to. What powerful words were spoken that day. “We will not leave you nor forsake you”
I was reading a story in a magazine about a woman who had a double mastectomy due to breast cancer. She was struggling with cancer and her identity as a woman. It had been a week since surgery and she would duck into the bathroom to change her clothes. Then her husband sat her down on the bed and undid her blouse and kissed her scars. His actions said “you still are the woman I love and I am not leaving or forsaking you.”
But all to often in our world people in the midst of their greatest struggles those words are not shared with us and we forget God has spoken them. We think we have been abandoned, because of our addiction to drugs, or porn, because of our sexual identity, because of our handicap, our age or dementia. We feel alone, abandoned, forsaken by God. But we are not. God has not left us, He has not forsaken us, if we only turn and look for Him. God is not frightened by your situation. God is not frightened by your sin. He has walked the road your on with countless others just like you, and never has He run away.
I love the movie “Back Draft” there is a scene where bull and axe are fighting, the catwalk they are on falls as Axe starts to fall Bull catches his hand and is now holding him with one hand and the catwalk with the other, suspended over the raging fire below. Axe begs Bull to let him go. Bull answers with the words “you go, we go”.
You have friends going through terrible times in their lives, divorces, illness, addictions, and a thousand other things and they need you to not approve of their sinful choices but they need to know that in spite of their choices you are not going anywhere, your not running away. They need to hear you say “you go, we go” They need to be reminded of God’s word to them, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
Jesus is the God who kisses our scars, stands with us in our shame, holds us in our darkest hours and days. Listen closely and you can hear Him say “be strong and courageous, I will never leave you nor sake you.” Go out and fight the battle and win your personal war, because Jesus goes with you.
Let’s make this the cry of our families and our church, we will never leave you nor forsake you.
You go, We go.