Last Saturday, Jason and I had the privilege of trying out a new trail along the Chattooga River. After hiking about four miles, we stopped by a creek for some lunch. After lunch, Tippy curled up for a short nap, Mitch went off to explore, Jason stretched out to join Tippy in her nap, and I sat and stared at a spider web.
The web was on the opposite side of the creek, but the sun was hitting it at the perfect angle for me to watch the spider busily spin the web. It was amazing. Round and round she went and then out to the edge and back. Then she repeated the process over and over again. I was fascinated. I truly was. I couldn't help but marvel at the complexities of creation.
After a while, however, my eyes tired of watching the little spider go round and round, so I pulled out my phone which has an e-reader on it and did a little reading. (Me, read? Go figure!) When Jason stirred from his nap, I looked back to see how my little spider was doing, but I could no longer see her or her web. The place was dark with shadows from the surrounding trees, and the spider and her web had disappeared within the shadows.
I told Jason about the spider but pointed out that I couldn't see her anymore because the sun had moved. "Actually," he replied, "we moved. The sun stayed in the same place it's always been." "Yes," I said, "I know that. The earth revolves around the sun. I was just copying the saying of the sun moving across the sky. Why do we say that anyway?" The conversation spun off in as many different directions as the spider's web, but one powerful thought lingered in my mind: who moved?
Yes, the old gospel song, Who Moved, came to my mind. How often in our lives do we accuse God of not being there for us, when in fact, His presence is constant? It is we who move away from Him, not the other way around. Just as the sun is fixed in place, so is the Son. He promised to never leave us or forsake us, and He always keeps His promises. So, if we find ourselves feeling forsaken and alone, who moved?
It may appear that God left us just as it appears the sun moves across the sky, but no matter how it may seem, the truth is that we are the ones prone to wander. Determined to do things our own way, we run away from Him in pursuit of our desires. Then when our dreams crumble like castles in the sand, we look around and realize we're standing all alone. Our natural instinct is to place blame. "Lord, you left me. You broke Your promise." But if we're truly honest with ourselves, we'll realize that He's been there all along but we were too wrapped up in ourselves and our own desires to notice.
Feeling alone and forsaken today? Wondering how God could leave you in such a mess? He didn't. He's still there. If you've found yourself standing alone, it should be pretty obvious who moved. (I'll give you a hint: It wasn't Him.)