Another Word…by Gus Keiser

February 27, 2017

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave; never will I forsake you.

                                                                                                                                 Hebrews 13:5

While I don’t necessarily agree with some of his theological views; I do appreciate the writing style of Max Lucado and have a number of his books, including one titled When Christ Comes.  From that book comes the following story, a story about a parent’s unconditional love.  Part of that love centers around those closing words from the verse from Hebrews above…Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” As parents, we can only pray that ours is that unconditional type of love, a love that will transcend any and all negative things our children may do or become involved with.  But even that degree of love pales in comparison to the depth, breadth, and integrity of God’s love and compassion for us.  Lucado describes that kind of love in his story about a father, a son, tragedy and triumph, writing…

The 1989 Armenian earthquake needed only four minutes to flatten the nation and kill thirty thousand people. Moments after the deadly tremor ceased, a father raced to an elementary school to save his son.  When he arrived, he saw that the building had been leveled.  Looking at the mass stones and rubble, he remembered a promise he made to his child: “No matter what happens, I’ll always be there for you.”  Driven by his own promise, he found the area closest to his son’s room and began to pull back the rocks.  Other parents came and began sobbing for their children.  “It’s too late,” they told the man, “You know they are dead.  You can’t help.”  Even a police officer urged him to give up.

 But the father refused. For eight hours, then sixteen, then thirty-two…for thirty-six hours he dug.  His hands were raw and his energy gone, but he refused to quit.  Finally, after thirty-eight wrenching hours, he pulled back a boulder and heard his son’s voice.  He called his boy’s name, “Arman! Arman!”  And a voice answered him, “Dad, it’s me!”  Then the boy added these priceless words, “I told the other kids not to worry.  I told them if you were alive, you’d save me, and when you saved me, they’d be saved too. Because you promised me, “No matter what happens, I’ll always be there for you.”

Can you imagine God, our heavenly Father possessing this kind of passion for us, his children? Of course you can, because that’s who God is.  Take a few minutes to go back and look at that verse from Hebrews.  Let the author’s words sink in about what it means for your life…to realize that God has promised us that he’s never going to leave or forsake us, even when our problems mount and our struggles seem to be more unbearable that we could ever imagine.  God’s got our back!  That’s for certain!

In the musical, Camelot, the late Robert Goulet sang of his unending love, a love that would last through all the seasons of the year, a song that ended with this promise to his beloved…

Oh, no! not in springtime! Summer, winter, or fall!

 No, never could I leave you at all!

And that’s the measure of God’s endless love for his children, a love that promises… No, never could I leave you at all!

 What a friend we have in Jesus, a friend that will never leave us. Lord, what comfort we can feel in that promise.  Amen.

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