Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Separation Anxiety

When I was five years old, and yes I remember this because of the punishment that I endured afterwards, I thought it would be fun to play hide and seek with my mother. Mom had left me at home alone while she took my sister down the road to school. I was sitting there watching cartoons when I heard the car pull up. I thought, “Oh, I can play hide and seek with mom.” As she stepped into the room, I had hidden real well. She called out to me, and I thought, “Well, that would give it away.” So, I didn’t answer. She rushed through the house, and I laughed inside as she walked right by. She hurried outside and yelled my name. At this point, I thought it would be funny to just be casually sitting on the couch when she came back in, as if I had been there the whole time. When she came in and saw me, she was furious. I told her that I was just playing a game and she told me… well, I told you that over twenty years later I still remember that day. We will leave those memories locked away. The point is that my mother experienced separation anxiety, an intense anxiety and worry that spun from being separated from her son that she loved dearly. In that moment, thoughts and theories flooded her mind regarding what could have happened to me in this evil world we live in. The truth is that there is evil in this world that will try to separate us from what we so dearly love. Today’s passage shows us just that.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37-39 (NKJV)

To truly understand this love that is inseparable, we have to travel back to the beginning. God had made man in His own image. The man and woman chose disobedience, and sin separated them from God. God came looking for them in the garden, and they hid from Him for they knew they had sinned. God cried out for them by name in the same manner that my mother cried out for me that day. God experienced a separation anxiety from the creation that He dearly loved. Now, we fast forward to the Cross. Jesus assumes the position of the sacrificial lamb. On the cross, He accepted every sin that everyone in all of time would commit. Jesus cried out on that Cross, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me.” Jesus was so full of our sin that God could not even look upon His only begotten Son. Jesus endured a separation anxiety from The Father so that we would never again be force to be separated from the love of God. Jesus had once shared a parable of a prodigal son who had left his father and squandered his inheritance. This father also suffered with separation anxiety, and he was so thrilled when his son returned that, despite the son’s offer to become a servant, the father threw a party to celebrate the son’s return. Our Heavenly Father is waiting to celebrate our return with a grand party. The problem is that, regardless of our best efforts, we could never return to our Father on our own. There had to be a price paid. Through Jesus’ death on the Cross, we became more than conquerors. Paul writes that he is persuaded that nothing could ever again separate us from the love of our Heavenly Father. Today, I am, as Paul was, convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s great love, even if we become that prodigal whom Jesus spoke of. As long as we repent and choose to turn back to our Father, His love will be there waiting with open arms. God gives us this love, but I want to encourage you to always remember that this gift was paid for by the blood of our savior. No matter what you do, no matter where you go, no matter what your mistakes, NOTHING can separate you from the love of God. In closing, I want to leave you with the words of the chorus of a new worship song.

Jesus Culture
One Thing Remains

Your love never fails, never gives up
Never runs out on me [3x]

On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never, ever, have to be afraid
One thing remains

 Your love never fails, never gives up
Never runs out on me

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for your great love. We thank you that we will never have to be afraid and suffer this separation anxiety from your great love. As others may leave us, as some would reject us, your love will never run out on us. God let us receive your love in our hearts, and let us share your love through our lives. Thank you for never leaving us nor forsaking us. We give you all the praise and the honor and the Glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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