My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest. Psalm 22: 1-2
I love Psalm 22.
As I read through the first 18 verses in my One Year Bible today, I heard Jesus quoting the first verse on the cross.
I recalled the New Testament writers citing different parts of this Psalm as prophecies fulfilled in Jesus’ death.
I listened in my memory to choirs singing Handel’s Messiah – as I played my violin in an accompanying orchestra.
But what really struck me today were the first two verses.
I’ve been there.
A few years ago I totally lost any sense that God was present. I wondered where He went. I wondered if He would ever show up again and make things right, or at least a little better. I wondered if I would ever feel hopeful about the future once more. I wondered if I would ever sense someone on the other side of my prayers again. I wondered at times if He even existed.
Had God forgotten me?
I love that Jesus TOTALLY understands what I went through. He has experieneced that desperate loneliness.
He’s been there. And even worse.
I lost my husband, my best friend for nearly 20 years. Jesus lost his best friend from all eternity – His Father. I can’t imagine the pain He felt on the cross – at that separation caused by MY sin!
What a wonder that Jesus walked through the same valleys that I walk through, only deeper. He did it so that I wouldn’t have to. He did it out of love for me. He did it because of me.
So he understands when I am in pain. And more than that, he gives me the privelege of sharing in some small way the same pain He endured, the lonely complete separation from His father.
The sense that the Father forgot Him.
He did that for me and because of me. Wow. I can’t even get my head around that.
Dear Lord: Thank You – no PRAISE You – that you understand the depths of loneliness and separation from the Father that I once felt. And even the loneliness for friendships that I feel sometimes still. Let me long to share more in your suffering so I can better understand your love for me – the love that led the Father to forget you becaue of my sin. Amen.