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Across the Pastor’s Desk: God doesn’t abandon us, ever

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Shane Koepke

Shane Koepke


Hello, friends. I think there is a time we all go through that we believe God has abandoned us —sometimes after a death of someone we thought we couldn’t live without. Often after tragedy, always accompanied with doubt, we start to let that lie creep into the stories of our lives. Now is an especially trying time and many people feel abandoned by their jobs, routine and other things we thought we could count on for purpose. So, too, we often imagine that God has abandoned us.

You aren’t alone, nor is this a new sentiment. People throughout time, even the beginning of the Bible, have stories of fearing God’s absence. But! God always shows up. We may not know how or when or even through whose hands, but God doesn’t abandon us.

This is hard to wrap our heads around, because we somehow think of God as a magician. Snap and God is making things happy again. Sorry, God never said that the life we have been given will be free of unexpected troubles.

What God does promise time and time again is that we are bound to God. Nothing can separate us from each other. And in turn, we are bound to our fellow human beings. We aren’t to abandon one another in our grief and anger, our impatience or unwillingness to change. We must stand strong together. To take care to not make things worse than they already feel.

That often starts by connecting with others. So reach out, don’t let the silence of this time of social distancing make you believe that you have been abandoned or that you have abandoned others. Make the call, send the card, write the note. Drive by and honk! Shout from your car window words of encouragement, pray for others and let them know that they aren’t alone.

God had not abandoned us and we are not without the strength to be light for others’ dark moments. Peace as we journey alone yet together.

Shane Koepke is a pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Albert Lea.