There are many ways to become an orphan. Some children become orphans when their parents die. Others become functional orphans when their parents divorce. Other people become orphans as a result of their parent's emotional unavailability. Anyone who has been neglected, abandoned, or abused by people who were important in their life will appreciate what it is like to be an orphan. It is a painful and lonely experience. Orphans doubt their ability to sustain intimate relationships and find it difficult to trust others. Experiences of abandonment leave us full of loneliness, fear and self-loathing.
Jesus understood the acute pain that orphans experience. In this text he responds to that deep pain with a promise of relationship. "I will not leave you as orphans," Jesus says, "I will not abandon you. You will not be without family because I will come to you."
In Jesus we see most clearly that God is attentive and available to us when we feel abandoned or neglected. God respects our needs and responds to our desires for relationship. God calls us out of the brokenness and dysfunction of our very personal orphanage into the community and fellowship of God's family. We are no longer orphans. We are God's children.
Lord, I know about being an orphan.
I know about abandonment.
Thank you for understanding my fear of separation.
Thank you for understanding my need for your presence.
Be present today with me.
I want to spend time with you.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery