A Prayer for When You Feel Forgotten
By Jessica Van Roekel
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” (Isaiah 49:15-16 ESV)
We had a fierce winter storm blow through that filled our country roads with drifts as high as a car door. The snow fell in big flakes, but the wind tossed it around and piled it into hard chunks. My rural area is divided into one-mile squares with roads running east and west and north and south every mile. I took the westerly route that I knew was open to the hard surface roads, but I was curious about the north/south road. So, instead of turning back into my driveway, I drove right on past it and turned south.
This decision proved to be regrettable. I made it to the half-mile mark, bouncing through a few drifts, and thought that wasn’t so bad, but as I came to a small rise in the road, I gulped. I couldn’t slow down because if I did, I would be trapped with no way to walk home because I wasn’t dressed for it. I had to press on. I accelerated and prayed I would make it through the next half mile, which was one continuous drift.
The car bounced to the left and then to the right, sliding closer to the ditch. I fishtailed my way to the stop sign, relieved I made it. But I still needed to make it home. I couldn’t go back the way I had come, so it was around two sections and a semi-manageable drift before I powered my way up my driveway. Car covered in snow, brakes filled with ice, I slid to a stop in my garage. I sighed with thanksgiving, aware of the gift it was that I made it home.
Have you ever felt trapped, with no way forward and no way to go backward? Maybe it was a choice you made, like my not-so-smart choice to challenge the wind and snow. Or maybe it was thrust on you by unwanted circumstances. Either way, your feet are on an unwanted path, and there’s no way that you can undo it.
In this chapter of Isaiah, the Israelites believed Lord had forsaken them. They believed their troubles were a sign that God had forgotten them. There are times when our troubles whisper to us that we, too, are forgotten. It appears other people don’t have the same struggles as we do, and we feel it’s unfair. We wrongly believe we got the short end of the stick, and we stand accusing God that he forgot us. We have been lost, and so we lose faith in God.
Yet God assured the Israelites that he was with them. That he saw them and that they were important to him. In these words, he reminds us that his love is greater than a mother toward her child. He doesn’t forget us in our times of despair and grief. He makes certain that he looks out for us. His compassion compels him to act on our behalf, whether he relieves our circumstances or brings relief to our anxious hearts.
The evidence of his love for us can be found in the scars on Jesus’ hands. We are engraved on God’s palm. He cannot forget us. Those scars serve as a reminder to us of his sacrificial love that he showed to us and of his unending desire to do what is best for us.
Do you feel as though you have been left far, far behind? It seems like other people have moved on, and you’re left to flounder forward, lonely and feeling lost. Remember that God sees you. When you feel invisible, remember that his heart is tender toward you. He walks with you, guiding you, bringing you comfort and rest.
I feel so invisible right now. I feel lost and alone. Everyone else has moved on, and I am stuck in this wretched cycle of the same struggles. But you see me, you know me, and you have engraved me in the palm of your hand. Let me find my comfort and rest in you. You are my everything, and I praise you. I know that because of you, I can make it through. I know that even though I feel forgotten, I am not because you are with me.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/max-kegfire
Jessica Van Roekel loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God’s transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She longs for you to know that rejection doesn’t have to define or determine your future when placed in God’s healing hands. Find out more reframingrejectionbook.
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