I was in a department store one day when suddenly I heard a bloodcurdling scream, followed by relentless sobbing. A little boy had gotten separated from his parent.
Separation anxiety is real. Small children, people who’ve lost a spouse, divorced people, and even dogs experience it.
Those of us who believe in heaven and hell have images in our minds of what those two places will be like. In fact, Scripture gives us pictures of both. These are just some examples of what hell will be like: the rich man whose thirst could not be quenched (Luke 16:19-31), a lake of fire (Revelation 20:10), a fiery furnace (Matthew 13:50), chains of gloomy darkness (2 Peter 2:4), etc.
But that little child’s terrified cry made me wonder if those images are not even the worst part of what hell will be like. The worst part will be living in a constant state of panic and anxiety that will never be quelled. We will be separated eternally from the gracious presence of God.
Thankfully, we have the assurance that God will never let go of our hands. He has promised, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Even when we “wander off” or sometimes try to push him away, Jesus grasps our hands even more tightly, and he will never let go until we are safely back in the arms of our heavenly Father.
Because of faith in Christ, we will never experience eternal separation anxiety.