After arriving for my speaking engagement, I had a few minutes to check text messages on my phone before the event stated:
Husband: I’m not feeling well.
Me: Oh no! What’d you eat?
Husband: Well, Wes (our son) cooked eggs this morning and I thought they tasted weird, but I ate them anyway. My burps taste like flowers.
In between speaking sessions, I checked text messages on my phone again:
Son: I’m not feeling well.
Me: Oh no! What’d you eat?
Son: Well, I had eggs this morning, and I cooked chicken and collard greens for lunch. The collard greens tasted weird, but I ate them anyway.
Me: Did you put anything different in them?
Son: No, just salt and some of that bacon grease you keep in the plastic jar under the sink. (Note: In the south, we add bacon grease to everything shy of cereal).
Me: Wes, please tell me you didn’t! The bacon grease is not in the plastic jar; it’s in the stainless still container. What I pour in the plastic jar is old Scentsy wax! (Note: Scentsy wax is melted in pots to infuse the air with pleasant fragrances) Oh Baby, didn’t you notice the stuff in the jar was different colors—as in pinks, and greens, and blues?
Son: Yea, I sorta wondered about that.
Me: Did you put that stuff in the eggs this morning, too?
Son: Yea, why?
Back at the hotel that evening, I texted my husband:
Me: What are you doing? Are you feeling any better?
Husband: Well, I just sat down to eat the collard greens Wes left in the fridge, but they taste weird.
Ever feel like you can’t leave your loved ones alone for any length of time without something going wrong? You’re not the only one. Our Father in heaven knows the importance of staying present in our lives at all times, which is why he promises, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
God’s promise to never forsake us is only possible because Jesus was forsaken in our place. Jesus was without sin, spotless in the eyes of the Father. But on the cross, every sin the human race has ever committed was transferred from us to Jesus. Jesus willingly became guilty of every sin–past, present, and future. He wasn’t guilty of sin himself, but took on the guilt of our sins. And because of the holiness of the Father, the Father had to look away. In that terrible moment, Jesus cried out as he died, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34).
The Father forsook the Son, allowing him to take the judgment we deserved. Jesus atoned for our sins once and for all, so the Father would never have to look away or forsake us. The Bible says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Although God is ever present, never leaving or forsaking those who have trusted Jesus as Savior and Lord, we may stray from the commitment of spending time with him in prayer. We may lack consistency in coming into God’s presence, but through the atoning sacrifice of Christ, he is always in ours. When we do stray, we lose familiarity with his holiness and find ourselves not discerning the good stuff from the bad. A lack of discernment often leads to an indulgence in the bad stuff, and as a result, we wind up sick. Sick with sin.
Not wanting my loved ones to get sick, and in an effort to aid them in making an easy distinction between the good stuff and the bad, I separated the Sentsy wax from the bacon grease as soon as I got home. Our heavenly Father doesn’t want his children to stay sick with sin, so he graciously separates our sin from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).
We serve a God who loves us so much he allowed his own son to be sin for us, take the punishment for us, and atone for us, so he would never have to leave us alone—thankfully, not even for two seconds.