No matter what...
Have you ever lost one of your children in a large mall, or at the park? I have and I can describe for you the moment of sheer panic when I realized they were gone - not just from my sight, but gone! They had disappeared quicker than I was able to appreciate and that moment of panic gripped my soul, sent my emotions into a spiral, and began to play scenes of terror across the screen of my imagination. I wonder what it would be like to see our 'separation' from God through is eyes...would we begin to see the extreme scenes of terror that cross his screen, as well? I think God has things in control, unlike us, but he is certainly deeply affected by any separation between us!
Before I go further, let me assure you the kiddos were safe and sound, despite their momentary lapse in 'staying close to mommy'. They hid out in some hiding spot, thinking it was funny to see mommy go through sheer terror over their absence. When you finally find those kiddos, your emotions race from "I was so worried about you" to "I think I am going to strangle you" in about zero to sixty! While the kiddos might have experienced a moment or two of jubilee for having pulled a good 'gag' on mommy, God isn't all that excited about any of our sinful shenanigans! He is grieved by our separation - he feels that 'time away from us' deep within his heart.
Why is that? I think it is because he loves us so deeply! Why did I panic when the kiddos disappeared, ever so briefly as it may have been? It was because of how deeply I loved them and wanted to protect them from all manner of harm! God is no different - he wants to keep us from all harm. We, on the other hand, seem to enjoy getting ourselves into places where we shouldn't have gone in the first place. Even our 'dangerous' steps into places we were not supposed to go in the first place are watched over by our caring and compassionate heavenly Father. He may not have wanted us to go there, but he knows when we experience that 'panic' of separation from him, we will call out!
Sometime the 'separation' is our own fault - but at others it is because we have an enemy who wants nothing more than to cause us to panic. We cannot always 'mitigate' or 'maneuver around' his attacks, but we can 'manage our heart' through them! We can remain consistently under God's wing and never have anything to fear. That is what I wanted my kiddos to know as they were growing up - mom would take care of them, no matter what. God wants us to know he will take care of us - no matter what! Just sayin!