The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 4, 2013

He will never leave you nor forsake you

By Ruth Ann Replogle, Columnist
Enid News and Eagle

— In times of desperation or frustration, I’ve heard people use the term “godforsaken.” It is often times prefaced or followed by other not-so-nice phrases to further describe or express how she or he is feeling about current circumstances. It is usually uttered when folks have a sense of loss or abandonment.

The basic meaning of “forsake” is to leave or abandon, to severe a relationship or to leave behind. But it can also mean to let someone alone or put distance between so a problem can be resolved, to let go, to set free or let something lie on the ground. Or as seen in the New Testament, it sometimes refers to being set apart or to renounce.

When I think about being forsaken, I think about loners. I have a thing about loners as I used to be one. In fact, in much of the fiction I’ve written, the main character is depicted as a loner. That’s why I like westerns and science fiction because the heroes (or anti-heroes in some cases) are usually loners. Since childhood, my heroes have always been cowboys.

Loners prefer to be apart, to go their own way, to stand alone. They are hard and cynical on the outside but tenderhearted and hurting deep on the inside. Real relationships do not come easy because trust has been broken at some point in a loner’s life. He or she was rejected or neglected or abused, all symptoms of being forsaken.

I’m here today to say that while everyone in the world may have forsaken you, God hasn’t.

I don’t know how many times in my younger days I cried myself to sleep. I struggled with rejection on a daily basis and spent so much time alone. Now don’t misunderstand — I had my brothers and sister at home to play with and loving parents who cared for me. I just simply did not fit in at school or work or even church.

My saving grace was Jesus. I met Him when I was 9 and He kept me sane. I have always clinged to Him and He has remained my utmost hero. Through it all, He has never judged me, rejected me or forsook me as I had put my trust in Him all those years ago.

His favorite promise to me is in the first chapter in Joshua: “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:5-9, NIV)

Beth Moore summed this passage up in one of her Bible studies: “I (God) will never fail you. I’ve got you in My grip.”

I was captivated by the recent Sunday sermon in Hebrews 13:5-6: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’”

I’m no longer a loner, or at least I’m not as much of one as I was before. I’ve come to realize that God has my back, so when man attacks me, they are attacking Him, too.

He has promised to never leave me behind and thus far I have had no reason to doubt Him.



Follow Ruth Ann Replogle on Facebook at http://www.face book.com/pages/Just-Hold-On/419800328081972 or email her at justholdonrr@gmail.com.