“Forgotten is one thing, but forsaken is another matter entirely. We very innocently forget people – people we love and care about. That can happen in the hectic pace of things. But the art of forsaking is very intentional- premeditated forgetfulness.” — David Jeremiah
Being put in “time out” for a child seems like an eternity even though it is generally only a few minutes. The sense of being separated and isolated from the activities going on around them is excruciating. How much more intense the isolation would feel if they were forgotten indefinitely.
This is what those who toil with the heaviness of emotional and mental difficulties face day in and day out. Their lot is one of feeling like they’ve been forgotten in “time out.” They have a sense of being placed on the back burner in the lives of those around them. The message they so often receive is that life goes on without them, and they feel left behind. It’s as if the story of their lives is like a broken record – same old song, second verse – that leads those in their lives to leave them hanging until they can make time to check back in because, after all, it’ll be the same old story. This leaves the sufferer wondering about what their loved ones are thinking about them in between contacts. The questions that come to mind are: “How do they think I’m doing in between times or do they even care?” To truly make a difference in the life of one in pain, you can’t hit the pause button and put them on hold until it’s once again convenient for you to fit them in your busy life and schedule. They need to feel included and connected to life going on around them. You see, there is no pause button for them to escape, get relief or have a break from the onslaught of their pain. It NEVER leaves or ceases!
“It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts.” ~ James 3:13 (MSG)
Reflections on TIME OUT
God promised in Hebrews 13:5 that He would “never leave us nor forsake us.” The Hebrews verse is actually a quote from I AM in Deuteronomy 31:6. So God promised in both the Old and New Testaments that He will always be with us, once we belong to Him.
However, as people, we tend to be more selfish and self-absorbed. We mean well…we really do, but so often we fail to follow through on our promises. So, how can someone who is close to one who struggles with depression or chemical imbalance, be available at the times they are needed the most? When one works or has other regular responsibilities, it is very hard to balance those with helping someone about whom we genuinely care. If we try to be available 24/7, that is not really possible, nor would it be healthy for either person. However, often the one whose support is needed tends to use that as a “cop out,” and chooses to be available only on a very limited basis when it is the least inconvenient because they are afraid that the other person will need them too often or for periods of time that won’t fit into the limited time we tend to allot for “ministry.”
God does not define friendship and genuine Christian love in such limited terms. He says in Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.” So how can I be available to love when I am needed most since I don’t have a crystal ball and 24/7 is not possible?
God the Father knows the needs of those we love. He knows their hardest days and times they need support the most. When God brings someone to mind, He is prompting us to be His hands and His feet to a hurting world.
It may not seem like the most convenient time. It may involve sacrifice. It may take energy we don’t feel like we have at the moment but if we truly followed the leadership of the Holy Spirit every time He brought someone to mind, I honestly believe that there would not be an unmet need.
Are you willing to listen to His voice today?
Will you follow His leadership and serve when He calls you?
Will you be the hands and feet of your Savior to a hurting soul?
Will you be their Heavenly Hug that shows them God cares today?
Prayer for the hurting person:
Please give this hurting person a “break” in their emotions. Help them to not feel stuck in the corner of life and send others to give them a helping hand out of the Time Out situation in which they have found themselves. Help them feel loved and even wanted. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Prayer for the helper:
Please help me to not tell you how to do Your job! Help me to listen to You more than I tell you my goals and dreams and the way that I want to do things. Help me to be willing to help and encourage my friend who needs me so much. Help me to be more sensitive and less selfish. Help me to reach out in Your love to those who need me most.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.