Day #3

Romans 8:31-32

My job required me to leave my small children at times. I recall one particular moment when my husband held our one-year-old baby on his hip, her sister by his side, waving me off through security. When the baby realized they weren’t coming with me, she burst into screeches, reaching out her chubby little arms for me. Her father said she sobbed all the way home.

Abandonment. It’s a horrifying spectacle to be left behind by someone you love, whom you thought loved you. Akin to rejection, it puts us outside the circle of acceptance, in a cold, bleak world of worth-crushing inferiority. I call it “social death,” and I believe it to be the index fear of the human heart. 

The disciple Peter pulled his sword before fully armed Roman soldiers. He feared not physical death. Yet only a few hours later when facing the social death of ridicule and rejection, he denied Jesus to protect Himself. 

Jesus faced social death on the Cross–rejection by the One with whom He’d been bound in love for all eternity. In our behalf, He felt the horror of an abandonment so traumatic that it physically broke His heart. And He did it so that we could have the assurance of acceptance and the warmth of inclusion. 

We can know, right now, that God accepts us in Jesus. We see in the fact that He endured the Cross, despising the shame, that He holds nothing back. The priceless Gift of His Life reveals His utter generosity toward us. If He would sacrifice His secure bond with the Father, why would He not freely give what requires no sacrifice at all–a place in His circle of love, where He can enjoy our fellowship forever? 

Feel the arms of God around you right now. He accepts you with all your flaws and problems. He says that He will never cast out the ones who come to Him. Human beings will not always meet our needs for inclusion, but we can know we are always included in God’s circle of love. Thank Him out loud for His love. 

Let us pray. Dear Father, thank You. Thank You that no matter our past mistakes, even grievous sins, no matter our present weaknesses and flaws, You receive us as we are. Take us as we come to You today. Heal and transform us. We pray in the name of Your Son, Jesus, Amen. 

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:31-32

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74 thoughts on “Day #3

  1. Mel

    So as I was listening this morning, God reminded me of what struck me in the sermon at church yesterday, “you can add to the value, you are the value”. We so often look for approval in others and try to adjust our behaviours so that we will get their approval, but we are so valuable to God we don’t need to do anything, or even if everyone does reject us, we are so valuable to Him that He won’t reject us! Nothing can separate us from our love not even our sometimes lame choices!

    Reply
  2. Jodi

    As I listened to the timely reminder that God will not abandon us, I pondered the beautiful sermon yesterday about the dangerous ideas that led so many reformers to submit theirs lives to a martyr’s death. They had little idea of how their blood would be seed for other believers over the centuries, how their life’s work, ideas, and beliefs would flourish and turn the world right side up, but had the courage to stand without any human cheerleader because their purpose was more important than their existence. In this sobering time of uncertainty, I am thankful that the promise, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” is not flippant, but is supremely trustworthy.

    Reply
  3. Lisa Reynoso

    Right now this encouragement is just what I need. God never will abandon me. He is always there. Always ready to embrace me, to forgive me. Thank You, Jesus!

    Reply
  4. Steve

    In response to the question asked of us to recall a time in our lives when we experienced the love and acceptance of God, a singular instance does not stand out. Rather, this usually occurs in the middle of the night when I awaken and wait for sleep to return. During this “waiting time” I will meditate on the Trinity and imagine being in the presence of these 3 Persons. During this nighttime visit with God, I most often experience being united with Him as he surrounds me with His love. And then I gradually drift back off to dreamland!

    A note on the Breathing, I find that inhaling through my nose and exhaling through my mouth brings about deeper breathing (into the lower abdomen) and relaxation. This form of deep breathing facilitates a softer access to the emotions within.

    PS On a lighter note, I was relieved to learn I wasn’t the only one to hear the word “sexy” during the breathing song : > ))

    Reply
    1. Sabrina

      I wondered why we were breathing in and out of the mouth. I’m so used to breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth when I do deep breathing.

      But maybe there’s a reason that Jennifer suggests breathing in and out of the mouth?

      Reply
      1. Erin

        I was wondering the same thing, as I was always taught to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth for the deep breathing exercises

        Reply
  5. Lauren

    I’ll have to listen to this one again and again! I have a hard time when people are cruel to me, because I value so much being able to get along with anyone, and it’s devastating when I come into conflict. I must remember this verse, that abandonment and rejection from others doesn’t change God’s promise one iota!

    Reply
  6. Sarai

    I’m reminded that at the cross, Jesus gave up all of Himself, to be able to reconcile me, an unworthy sinner, back to God. He gave freely; He continues to give freely. He loves me.

    Reply
  7. Sabrina

    I’ll never forget an experience I had years ago–I had made a mistake that I was ashamed to tell my parents about because I felt I had failed their trust. I carried the guilt for a significant amount of time until I couldn’t handle it anymore. I expected my dad to be angry with me, but instead he was so gentle and understanding in wanting to help me so I wouldn’t fall into the same mistake again. In that moment, I understood the unconditional love and acceptance of Jesus in a way I had never before.

    Reply
    1. Steve

      Wow, what a truly transformative experience you had with your dad. God bless him. So many of us have a punitive impression of God due in part to the hurtful relationships we have had with our fathers. So happy for you, Sabrina!

      Reply
  8. Kristina

    So comforting to know that Jesus accepts me just as I am and more importantly loves me so much that He wants to transform me and will be with every step of the way.

    Reply
    1. Steve

      I couldn’t agree more, Kristina. It is truly comforting and healing to come to the realization that Christ so deeply desires to embrace us, warts and all.

      Reply
  9. Sharon

    I must admit I’m struggling with this one. The Scripture song is excellent, and the mediation is the same quality as the first two. The content, though… Ouch! The harsh, cruel reality of social death has been my home for my entire life. The only thing I understand as well as the emotional pain of rejection and abandonment is physical pain. And so often, I have well-meaning Christians insinuate that if I can’t FEEL God’s love, then I haven’t surrendered to Him and accepted salvation. I KNOW God loves me. I see it in nature, in His providence in meeting my needs, often before I realize I have them. But FEELING loved? About as accessible as walking on Mars. I just keep reminding myself that faith and feelings are not the same thing. And that one day, perhaps not until eternity, but one day, my feelings will finally reflect the truth – that God loves me unconditionally.

    Reply
    1. Steve

      So true, so true, so very true. We tend to place too much stock in our feelings, that are so changeable and fleeting. What a wonderful testimony to the deep faith you have developed. Truly inspiring!

      Reply
    2. Bonnie

      Thanks for sharing! I can relate. I’ve struggled with the same challenge of not necessarily feeling God’s love. Something that has helped me when I have those unloved feelings, is to say in my mind or even out loud “Jesus saves”, “Jesus loves Me”, “He will hold me fast”. Especially as I go to sleep, if I repeat these phrases, it helps me to sleep more peacefully.

      Reply
    3. Nowelle

      I agree, and I actually had a similar thought when she asked us to “feel God’s arms around you right now”. At the end of the day, I have to act based on my knowledge of God and His acceptance of me, and not on how I feel. That’s what Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. He didn’t feel God at all, but He still did His Father’s will. And He died knowing He was a conqueror. It’s so deep and we can’t fully understand, but I get what you are saying. My husband has a testimony strikingly similar to what you described, so we’ve had this discussion many times. Thanks for touching on that point Sharon!

      Reply
  10. Belinda

    I once did something wilfully sinful and horrible that hurt a friend badly. I felt terrible and expected that friendship to be over as a result of my sin.but Instead of pushing me away my friend showed me forgiveness and grace and continued to allow me to be their friend ( although clearly articulating the way I had hurt them and the boundaries that would protect me from doing it again). The moment I realised the friendship wasn’t over- relief and peace washed over me and I remember thinking- this is what God must be like, never quitting on our relationship even when I stuff up big time. This was a time when I finally felt loved by God- when I understood that I could trust him to stay.

    Reply
    1. Steve

      How very honest and touching is the story you shared. Believe me, you are not alone in being led to committing deliberate sin against a fellow creation of God. (Yours truly knows this all too well.) And yes, never giving up on us is what God must be like. Such indescribable love.

      Reply
  11. Ann

    When unexpected “little miracles” happen, it reminds me that I’m so loved by Jesus. I can only praise Him for saving me from myself, from harm, and giving me beauty to behold in surprising places. Years ago I took my three children on a 5-week road trip to Alaska (we started on the east coast). This was a trip to show the kids the beauty of the country and for me to experience God in the journey. One day I specifically took the road that would allow me to see Denali for miles ahead as I drove toward it. The locals had cautioned me that the mountain peak was very frequently shrouded in clouds and not visible. Indeed, this day the sky was dark in the west. The kids were bickering, and my peace was being shattered. After declaring a no-talking time-out, I prayed that God would allow me a glimpse of the mountain peak. He did! The sky parted, and the most gorgeous view of Denali shone right in front of us. It took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. God was saying He loved me.

    Reply
    1. Joelle W

      I love this. Thank you for sharing it! So beautiful to know that He cares about these small desires of our hearts. He must love it when we recognize and receive it as His love!

      Reply
  12. Cheryl

    Well I listened three times this morning and did the breathing. Part of the scripture song/tune has been in my head today while doing various chores around the house. So, I’m happy for that.

    Neville has an awesome voice. Is there any chance to hear him in person somewhere? Does he have any recordings of songs available already? I could listen to him sing all day long.

    Thank you both for the work and time you put into this project. I know it will be a blessing to the world…soon!

    Reply
    1. Steve

      Cheryl, yes Neville has several CD’s. You can find them on his website NevillePeter.com. Also, you can check him out on YouTube where there are a number of videos of Neville singing and playing piano on 3ABN (an Adventist TV station) as well as other places.

      Reply
  13. Erin

    I noticed today that it was easier to breathe throughout the whole meditation. I found the mediation a helpful reminder that God will never abandon me.

    Reply
  14. Bonnie

    This has been a blessing to me and has helped me to relax more and focus better. I have had some stressful days and the reminders of God’s love has helped me to remember the big picture and hold on to God’s hand. Thank-you!

    Reply
  15. Valerie

    Wow, this time the scripture song really moved me. It’s hard to choose a time in my life when I felt really loved and accepted by God, since there have been several (and it’s so good to remember!). But I think I’ll go with when I was baptised. I was 12 years old and my grandma said I came up with the biggest smile she’d ever seen someone have when they came out of the water. I knew God loved me and I knew I loved Him back. Thank you for helping us remember.

    Reply
  16. cree

    ohhhh abandonment .. : ( two unpleasant things rolled into one:

    being left behind + realizing that person doesn’t really love/care about you the way you thought they did = double ouch.

    I have to listen to this meditation every time I am tempted to dwell in past hurts related to abandonment.

    I realize He actually knows how I feel (which i find very comforting)
    + I can count on Him for not abandoning me
    + He endured greater pain of abandonment because of His love for me!
    = (T_T)

    Reply
  17. Megan

    Today’s message really hit home. I have an abandonment wound, but Jesus is faithful. He’s never left me, and for that, I’m so thankful.

    Reply
  18. Shirley Mann

    I am a retired high school science teacher (retired for 9 1/2 years) and a widow (for 5 1/2 years). I live near Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, where we have a small SDA church. We have been open (with COVID precautions) since early June. Some of our members are not yet comfortable with attending, but for those who do come we are starting to get back to a normal church experience.

    Reply
  19. Jane

    Times when I’ve felt fully accepted and loved by God have been during my morning devotion time when God impressed me of various thoughts while writing in my journal.

    Reply
  20. Nowelle

    “At the cross, at the cross,
    where I first saw the light,
    and the burden of my heart rolled away;
    it was there by faith I received my sight,
    and now I am happy all the day!”
    My first encounter with Jesus, at His cross, is where I felt fully accepted by Him.
    These Jesus Meditations are really good for me. I’m easily stressed, and I can actually feel it making a positive difference!

    Reply
  21. Annie

    The pain of rejection and abandonment can be so excruciating that one can feel they are broken into a million pieces. I asked God if He could ever put me back together… It is only His love and acceptance that brought healing and wholeness in my life! Praise God!

    Reply
  22. Vanessa

    Praise the Lord, “He hath made us accepted in the beloved.”— Ephesians 1:6. This past year was a time when I felt fully accepted and loved by God. I was confronted with past mistakes, but God walked alongside me, and His love brought (and IS bringing) me through.

    Reply
  23. Jason

    Jesus Meditation Community! There’s this book I have been reading that I would love to share with you all that ties in with today’s topic of abandonment. It’s entitled:

    When People are Big and God is Small—Overcoming Peer Pressure, CoDependency, and the Fear of Man.

    It has been a blessing to me and I pray it will be a blessing to you all as well 🙂

    Reply
    1. Steve

      Greetings Jason. I totally agree with you about this particular book by Ed Welch. As soon as I saw the title I was hoping the book would live up to it’s stated intention. And boy, did it deliver. It’s been several years since I read it and perhaps I’m due for a refresher course! So glad you are finding the book a blessing as well.

      Reply
  24. Nicky Dube

    The time that first comes to mind as a time when I felt complete acceptance by God was in 2012 during my first time ever participating in an all night prayer meeting. I had a conversion experience and felt forgiveness from sins and release from the bondage of several struggles. I will never forget that moment. I know by experience that God will always accept and include me.

    Reply
  25. Brenda Hall

    I remember when I was very young my mom and dad left my brother and I home alone or with baby sitters quite a lot. I remember feeling at times that God was rocking me to sleep. Several years ago I was hit by a car when I was riding my bike. I knew immediately that my wrist or arm was broken. The man who hit me drove me to the hospital. I was very alone at that point in my life. I was in so much pain and I just prayed for God to be near me and He was even though I felt so alone and in so much pain I felt His presence very near me.

    Reply
  26. Erin D

    Abandonment is something I’ve always struggled with as well. I lost my relationship with my father through divorce and eventually death at a young age. Ive spent my whole life trying to find a place to fit in. I’m finally learning to stop trying to fit in with people and fit in with Christ. He is the only one who will never forsake or disappoint me. His love is always true and faithful. I’ve felt the closest to God in the past few years as He has come along side me in my struggle with both physical and emotional pain. Leaning into Him and His word is the most at peace I ever feel. Love that the songs and breathing exercise are making their way into my thoughts regularly throughout the day, bringing me peace and joy.

    Reply
    1. Steve

      I was really touched by your post, Erin. So sorry for this huge loss in your life, and at the same time am so thankful for the relationship you have found with your heavenly Father that has brought you such peace.

      Reply
  27. Katrina

    Hello Everyone
    I just realized I wasn’t on the correct page to make a comment for #3 meditation in case you notice a similar one comment.
    I am truly thankful for God’s sacrifice that screams LOVE to us! May we all hear and share with others!
    Peace to all!

    Reply
  28. Joelle W

    I’m having trouble identifying a moment of feeling completely accepted by God – I believe it to be true! But I am not sure of a moment or experience…

    Reply
  29. WayAnne

    I feel fully accepted and loved by God when I look at all that my parents have had to put up with in raising me and how they still love me in spite of it – I’m reminded that God has an even deeper love despite all I have put Him through.

    Reply
  30. A J

    Today’s meditation seemed to go well with my personal devotional reading where I was reminded of Jabez’s prayer. “Oh Lord, let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so I that I will be free from pain.”

    Reply
  31. Arieta

    One time I felt fully accepted and loved by God.. would be the moment I realized that I didn’t have to be the perfect child to be loved. I didn’t have to try & win His favor, He already loved me regardless. Understanding that everything I brought to the alter, would never be good enough, broke me, broke that self righteous bone..we’re (Jesus& I) are still working on that..daily

    I especially enjoyed the prayer part, that asks for help with our present weaknesses & asks for transformation & healing.

    Truly enjoy the breathing exercise/the message & the scripture song. Thank you again for this Jennifer Jill & Neville Pete!
    Blessings to everyone

    Reply
  32. Den

    I feel most accepted by God when I’m out in nature. It’s expanse is like a massive hug from God to me. I recognise His power and yet he is saying I made all this for you a place to belong in fullness.

    Reply
  33. Amy

    I think I believe in God’s unconditional love for me but I struggle to truly feel it. This meditation is a good reminder that I may need to review. I’m curious to discover if meditations like these can help me feel God more and minimize my social anxiety.

    Reply
  34. Sarah

    The first time I sense that God fully accept me was as a child. As I’ve grown into adulthood, I have had times in my life where various circumstances caused me to struggle and wonder if He could accept me, but time after time I have found that God is the only One I can always turn to and cling to no matter what. When it seems that everyone doesn’t care, or even that they’re against me, He never lets me down.

    Reply
  35. Onieka

    This meditation comes at a great time, as I ponder on all the wrong things I have done and how my negative influence has cause someone to lose their soul. I have been going through so much this season and seeing everyone fall away from the faith at home is equally disheartening. This helped me to trust that He is working to reconcile us to Him and to continue the perfect work in us.

    Reply
  36. Ericka

    oh man that story kinda wrecked me and made me cry! dont feel bad tho 😛 im so sensitive about babies. im so grateful – and i guess this is my answer for the question in the email – im so grateful God accepted me in the way i feel about babies that he has made a way with all 4 kids for me to be able to be home with them during those intense first few years. it would have wrecked me more than them im sure. and last year when i started walking, my 15 month old didnt have too much trouble, i did start out taking her with me, but she loves her daddy and her oldest brother so much that it was a lot easier for her than any of the others. i didnt start out this comment by thinking that this was a way i felt fully accepted and loved by God… but it turned out that way… and now im crying because of that instead!

    Reply
  37. Tara

    A time when I felt fully accepted and loved by God was in my journey leading up to my rebaptism. It was a journey out of legalism and into the light of His love.

    Reply
  38. Daniel Parsons

    In 2016, God pulled me out of a very serious delusion. My church family & recovery community expressed so much love for my healing. I was rebaptized due to the circumstances & felt the love of God as never before. I felt totally accepted then and now.

    Reply
  39. Monica

    Very good point about Peter. I had never thought about that before. He did not seem to fear for his life but he feared social ridicule. We may be brave in some areas but then have great weakness when it comes to something else. Staying close to Jesus is our best course of action. I have felt the love of God most when in prayer when God reveals His love and true intent.

    Reply
  40. Ann

    Jenn you speak so directly to issues that affect me. I struggle with belonging-at church, at work. Thank you for emphasizing that I belong to God.

    Reply

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