For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.
The Lord speaks to the people of Israel: though they were abandoned for a brief moment, with deep compassion He will bring them back. (Isaiah 54:7) God judges us and allows us to feel the consequences of our turning away from Him. The people of Israel, God’s covenant people, had turned to other gods and had rejected the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Throughout the book of Isaiah, we see God’s compassion as He reaches down to call His people back to Him. The prophet Isaiah describes how God’s brief abandonment of His people felt to them: as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit. . . (Isaiah 54:6) Sometimes, we feel as though God has abandoned us, but He draws us back with cords of love, drawing those who are weary and thirsty back into His life-giving presence.
Surely Peter felt abandoned when Jesus died. We know from his actions that he denied Christ out of fear, and he must have wondered why things turned out this way. But when he heard that the tomb was empty, he ran as fast as he could to check it out and spread the word that the Messiah,
His trusted friend was alive. Peter had known abandonment, and he had, in turn, abandoned Christ when he denied Him. When Jesus appeared to Him,
I suspect that Peter was ashamed. He recalled that Jesus had told him that he would deny the Lord, but Peter refused to listen. (John 13:38) When Jesus spoke to Peter after the resurrection, He commissioned Peter to feed and care for His sheep. He did not condemn Peter for denying Him. Filled with compassion, He drew Peter back.
That is what our Scripture reading for today conveys: God may seem to abandon us for a brief moment, but with deep compassion, He brings us back.
Are you in a season of feeling abandoned by God? Does He seem distant and now you are distancing yourself from Him? Though your emotions tell you to run away, draw near to Him because He is waiting to bring you back.
Things have not been going the way that I had hoped. I am disappointed with life and have denied that You care about me. Forgive me for abandoning my relationship with You, as I have been drowning in self-pity. Draw me back. I need You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen