God’s promise that He will never leave me nor forsake me is so different from the way I relate to Him. I run to Him in times of trouble and then just as quickly move away from Him in times of calm and ease.
I recently came across a child’s book called ‘Imaginary Fred’. As the story unfolds Fred explains how unpredictable and painful it is to be an imaginary friend. When his human friend, Sam, has no other human friend, then Fred becomes very important. He has lots of companionship as his Sam talks to him, plays with him, confides in him and laughs with him.
However, when Sam finds a friend who is human, like him, then Fred is put aside. He’s not played with so much or talked to, and the laughter is shared with another. Sometimes Fred is abandoned altogether, until such time as he is needed again. Then he’s important once more for another season.
As I read the story it struck me, to my dismay, that I can sometimes relate to Jesus like an imaginary friend. When I’m in distress, need, difficulty or am ill, I turn to Jesus, and He becomes very important and receives much of my attention.
But when circumstances improve, it's easy to move away from Him and turn my focus elsewhere. At times I have even abandoned Him in favour of the things of this world. How hurtful this must be for Him, who created me for relationship with Him, who loves me so much, and promises that He will never leave me nor forsake me.
If the above is true for you too, you might like to pray a prayer something like this:
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I’m sorry that I’ve treated You as negligently as if You were an imaginary friend. I’m sorry for the pain it’s caused You. Please forgive me. I would like to promise that, in future, I’ll always keep my relationship with You as a priority. However, if I’m honest, I know that I won’t, because I have an inherently fallen nature. I ask You, therefore, to please show me when I’m neglecting You, so that I can repent and turn back to You. Despite my self-centredness, Lord, I do want You to be the main focus of my life. Amen.
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