Faith- 5/2/19

Separation Anxiety

By Pastor Ron Buxton

Some of life’s greatest lessons arrive in the most unusual ways. Following the sudden and tragic death of my step-daughter, my wife and I inherited a very head-strong wiener dog. His name is Snoopy, and he often suffers from “separation anxiety”. What that means is that every time that we have to leave him at home, he comes unhinged–almost uncontrollably.

If I could actually talk to Snoopy–and I swear that I cannot–I would strongly reassure him that we’d be coming back soon. Sadly, however, he simply doesn’t get that message. And this got me to thinking. Could it not be the same way that God has dealt (and continues to deal) with humanity?

You see, all of mankind has become separated from God through sin. And that spiritual separation explains almost all of human suffering and anxiety. Especially–that anxiety part. We feel so alone in this condition, and like Snoopy, most people have no idea why they feel that way. Truth be told–even when we get what we think we want or need, there still exists that soulish emptiness.

It might surprise you to know that God’s Son, Jesus Christ, even had a bout with “separation anxiety”. From the cross of Calvary, He cried out: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). Imagine that. The very Son of God suffered that same internal torment that afflicts all of us.

It might also surprise you to know that God intended for His Son to go through that particular ordeal. Nevertheless, God’s purposes were not understood by most people then. And, unfortunately, the same could be said today. You see, Christ had to be separated from His Father that fateful day 2000 years ago when He hung between heaven and earth. An obscure passage in the Old Testament, Habakkuk 1:13, tells us that God’s eyes are “too pure to look on evil”. What that means is that what Christ did on the cross–as a perfect sacrifice for sin–brought that “separation anxiety” that Christ Himself groaned about. At that moment, the face of God had to turn away from Him.

Allow me to return to that story about my 9 pound bundle of nerves called Snoopy. He doesn’t get it. And try as I might–he’ll probably never understand. Frankly, too much inbreeding is probably to blame. Snoopy is just plain dumb. Folks–I’m certain that that is not the case with you. Please consider my words today.

Christ suffered the ultimate “separation anxiety” to redeem us to God. The promise of God “to never leave you nor forsake you” is found multiple times (I counted about a dozen references) in the Bible. However, we are the ones to separate ourselves from God. But that can change! Turn from your sin, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and suffer no longer from a self-imposed “separation anxiety”! Take a lesson from a little wiener dog named Snoopy!