Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (NIV)
My Amish neighbours have a foal in their pasture whose mother is never far away. Sometimes, I even see the little one tied behind a buckboard that is rolling along our macadam roadway. It seems that the mare will not pull the buckboard anywhere without her foal going along. She is stuck to her baby like moss on a tree. She would never leave it behind, no matter how safe the fenced pasture might seem.
Similarly, God promised in Deuteronomy never to leave us nor forsake us. No matter where we might go, God will always accompany us. No matter what might happen, God will always be right beside us. Jesus made that clear when He spoke to His disciples in the upper room before His crucifixion.
He knew that life was just about to become very tough for them. He knew that He would be betrayed into the hands of the authorities and that He would suffer a great deal. Then He would die. He also knew that He would rise again to live eternally, but before that, life was going to get scary for the disciples. To reassure them, He said, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18 NIV)
In Jesus' time, orphans had no hope. Since Scriptural injunctions to care for the widows, the orphans, and the poor were seldom followed, being without a family beggared the orphan. In promising never to leave them as orphans, Jesus promised that God would always provide for them, not just spiritually, but physically and emotionally as well.
To ensure that the disciples understood this, Jesus also promised, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27 NIV) Knowing what was about to happen, Jesus realized that the reaction of His followers would be fear — major, big-time fear — such as we might experience in the split-second just before a car accident.
Jesus knew how scary such events could be for His disciples and for us. To reassure both them and us, Jesus promised that He would be with us both. The way that we would know that He was here would be His all-encompassing peace, the peace that passes understanding.
The next time when we are faced with a fearful situation, let us think about this: God will never leave us nor forsake us. Never will God our Father leave us fatherless, like an orphan. When we turn to God in prayer, He will always provide an amazing blanket of peace to warm our fear-chilled hearts.
Prayer: Father God, we praise You for Your promise never to leave us nor forsake us, no matter what causes us to shake with fear. We ask for Your blanket of peace, no matter what trouble comes our way, for we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
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