But the people of Jerusalem said, “The Lord has abandoned us! He has forgotten us.”
So the Lord answers, “Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore? Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you. Jerusalem, I can never forget you! I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:14-16).
How many times do we think, “The Lord has abandoned me,” when we feel everything in our lives is going downhill? How many times do we find ourselves questioning God’s presence in our lives when we are burdened? I used to think like that too, until I found out that whenever we feel like we’re walking alone, thinking God left us, He’s always there with us, waiting for the right time to come so He can act.
In a previous post I wrote about there being a time for everything. God acts in time. Sometimes we may feel we’re in desperate need of something, and when we pray for it and don’t get it straight away, we feel our heavenly Father has abandoned us. The verse above is a reminder, straight from God’s mouth, “I will never forget you.”
Even in that time of great need we should keep our faith in him, believe that He will come through for us when the time’s right. He gives an example of a woman. In reality there are many women who abandon their children, so in a way someone who has been abandoned by their mother might not be able to relate to this, but a great percentage of women will die for their children.
That’s why majority of us sing in praise of our mothers. They would go through anything, do just about anything, to protect their children. So God asks, “Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore?” He knows we’re only human and are bound to make mistakes at times; but even so, He promises, “Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you.”
A mother’s love is said to be the greatest. But God’s surpasses that. Such is His love. He loves us unconditionally; He loves us at our best, and even when we’re at our worst, afraid He would abandon us because we wronged; He loves us even more at that time. And when one finds themselves going through unmitigated pain, they would ask, “If He loves us that much, why would He allow such agony?”
Imagine if we were always happy, if things always turned out the way we wanted? The way I see it, from my own experiences, I appreciate food when I see it because I’ve been hungry. I empathize with a hungry person on the streets because I know how it feels to be hungry. When I feel happy, I try all I can to hold on to the beautiful feeling because I’ve been trapped in the dark depths of depression. When I wake up without any aches/pain tormenting me, I realize it’s a blessing because I know how it feels to be sick. In short, the bad moments help us appreciate the good moments.
God allows us to go through painful moments because He knows from it we draw our strengths. Before Jesus died on the cross, He asked God, “Father, why hast thou forsaken me?” He felt alone and abandoned. But God, in His infinite wisdom knew by dying His Son would achieve so much more. If God knew the pain would be for naught, He wouldn’t let Him go through it.
In the same case, when we suffer, it’s because He knows we will gain something better. If we embrace our pain, and look at it with faith, we will reap so much from it. God is assuring us, “I will never forget you.” We make promises and break them, but when He promises something, He fulfils it. He is a faithful God. When things are not going the way we expect; when our prayers don’t get answered immediately, we should remember those words. “I can never forget you. I have written your name on the palms of my hands. ”