Psalm 22 – PART 1 – 4/13/17 – MAUNDY THURSDAY
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
And by night, but find no rest.
–Psalm 22:1-2 (NRSV)
Despair…abandonment…anger…bitterness…suffering…impatience…anxiety…desperation…. It’s all there. And more! Certainly David is not the only one who has ever felt these things, nor the only one who has ever had the courage to voice them. Jesus, in fact, claimed those first nine words as his own when he was hanging on the cross; and many others, without a doubt, have cried out similarly throughout the ages.
Where are you, God?? Why haven’t you shown up?? Why have you left me all alone? Don’t you care how much I’m hurting?? I pray and pray and pray to you, God…and nothing. Nada. A big fat empty silence. I can’t sleep at night for the anguish in my soul, and in my restlessness I pray again, and then I pray some more…and you are nowhere to be found! My God–where are you???
Does God really not care when we’re suffering? Can it be that God abandons us in our pain? Does God simply turn a deaf ear to our cries when they become too difficult, or too heart-wrenching, or too honest, to hear?? Because sometimes, as David voices, it can feel like that. Sometimes it can feel exactly like that. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
When the pain feels too much to bear, and the isolation, too much to handle; when the confusion is overwhelming, and the hurt is paralyzing; when suffering has replaced joy, and despair has taken the place of hope–from the depths of our souls we cry out: Where are you, God?? Why have you abandoned me??
And sometimes…maybe…if we’re honest…it might even feel like we’re praying to a big empty void, praying to the emptiness and making fools of ourselves in the process, believing in our heart of hearts not only that there is a God, but that that God knows us, that that God cares about us! How bold of us! How audacious! And sometimes, it may seem–when we pour out our souls to that God, and trust in that care, that love…and get nothing but radio silence in return–how foolish….
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Where are you, God?? And why aren’t you making things right?? …Maybe you’re not even there….Maybe I’m just a fool for thinking you’re real, and an even bigger fool for thinking you care about me and my pain….Ahhh, what’s the point…
…to be continued…