Psalm 22 – Part 2 – Forsaken…and yet…

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Psalm 22 – PART 2 – 4/15/17 – EASTER!

“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.

Yet you are holy,

Enthroned on the praises of Israel;

In you our ancestors trusted;

They trusted, and you delivered them.

To you they cried, and were saved;

In you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

–Psalm 22:1-5 (NRSV)

Where are you, God??  Why have you left me all alone?  I pray to you, God…and nothing.  I can’t sleep for the anguish in my soul, and in my restlessness I pray again…and you are nowhere to be found!  Where are you, God??  Maybe you’re not even there….Maybe I’m just a fool for thinking you’re real, for thinking you care about my pain…. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me???

“Yet…,” David says.  Yet….

You’ve abandoned me in my suffering, God!…and yet…

You’re completely ignoring me in my pain!…and yet…

I’m utterly alone, anxiety consuming my days and sleeplessness taking over my nights!

        And where are you??  Not here!!…and yet…

“Yet,” David says, “you are holy….”

        Perhaps it’s not all about me and what I’m going through,

                But about you and who you are…

        Perhaps your goodness is bigger than my hopelessness…

        Perhaps your plan is bigger than my anxiety…

        Perhaps your Love is bigger than my pain….

“Yet you are holy….”

“In you,” David says, “our ancestors trusted;

They trusted, and you delivered them.”

        You are not some fly-by-night, flash-in-the-pan, here-today-gone-tomorrow kind of god,

                But the here-all-yesterdays-today-and-all-tomorrows kind of God,

                the God who was and is and is to come,

                the God of our ancestors,

                        and of our descendants as yet unborn….

        And our ancestors, who were deeply flawed and experienced great suffering,

                Were even more deeply faithful, and experienced great deliverance….

        Our ancestors, who lived tens and hundreds and even thousands of years ago,

        put their trust in you, in spite of everything that might have persuaded them not to–

                outer disparities in power and strength?

                inner struggles with fear and doubt?

                intellectual arrogance?

                plain old stubbornness??–

        And you delivered them!  

        You saved them!

        You led them ever closer to wholeness

                and freedom

                and fullness of Life….

                        Perhaps it didn’t happen when they wanted it to…

                        Perhaps it didn’t look like they expected it to…

                        Perhaps it didn’t feel like they thought it would…

                                But they were freed from their fears,

                                They were saved from their suffering,

                                They were delivered from their despair,

                                        Because they trusted in You.

“In you,” David says, “our ancestors trusted;

They trusted, and you delivered them.”

“To you they cried,” David says, “and were saved;

In you they trusted, and were not put to shame.”

        You are real, you do care about our struggles, and you will deliver us;

        We can cry to you, we can pour out our hearts to you,

                You can handle our anger and our anxiety,

                You will hold us in our grief and our despair….

        We will not be put to shame;

        We will be saved–

                Saved from self-absorption, self-doubt, self-hatred,

                Saved from fear and guilt and regret…

                Saved for freedom and peace and wholeness,

                Saved by Goodness and Hope and Love….

“To you they cried,” David says, “and were saved;

In you they trusted, and were not put to shame.”

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me??” David cried out,

full of anguish and pain…

“Yet…,” he continued, with a glimmer of hope

and just enough faith to keep from him from falling into a bottomless pit of despair….

And yet….

God, when we cannot help but cry out to you, full of the pain and anguish, the abandonment and betrayal that David felt, please, please, please give us the strength to utter his “Yet…”, with just enough hope to save us, with just enough faith in the promise that you will indeed deliver us…. And we will not be put to shame!  Amen.

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