“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matt 27:46.
Those words were spoken by a dying Jesus while hanging on a cross for the salvation of the world. He had done no wrong during his time on Earth (1 Pet 2:22) and was in constant contact with God (John 11:41-42, 28-30).
Why He chose those particular words and what, exactly, they are referring to will be up for debate among scholars and historians forever. What they bring to my mind, however, is that no matter how close we feel to our savior, no matter how devoted we feel that we are to our Lord….we sometimes forget that he’s with us. We sometimes forget that he hasn’t forgotten us, forsaken us or abandoned us. We can feel lost…even when our minds are screaming that it can’t be so.
In our hearts, we are all evil (Jer 17:9, Mark 7:21-23), and this world is under the dominion of the evil one (1 Jn 5:19). We struggle to make our way through each day in a manner worthy of who we want to be remembered as….good people, husbands, fathers, businesspeople, friends…good Christians. We struggle with a world that challenges our morals and values in a society that often devalues both. We can find ourselves feeling like it’s us against the world, like nothing can go right. Like we’ve been forsaken. Now, deep down we know that can’t be true. (Deut 31:8, Isaiah 41:10) We know what the bible says (hopefully), but our faith isn’t as strong as Jesus’ (Mark 11:22-24) and our guilty, sinful consciences erode away at what faith we can muster. During our periods of tribulation and trial, we may tend to forget His great sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, our faults and missteps.
Jesus and His father are always with us (Mat 28:20). They indwell us with the holy spirit if you’ve accepted Jesus (1 Cor 3:16). They don’t scatter like the autumn leaves because we struggle with walking the path they would prefer us to walk. They don’t abandon us like our human companions and families might. They already know the evil in our hearts, our misdeeds–past, present and future, and our weakness of faith. And they are there anyway. The strength and endurance of their love for us is not based on ours toward them. (Psalm 103:8-18)
When this world takes its toll, when you feel beat down and discouraged, when you feel all alone while surrounded by multitudes….try to remember that you aren’t alone and you don’t have to carry the burden yourself (Psalm 55:22). That can be a difficult thing to bring to mind when you’re focused on all the other things going wrong at the moment, but what better time to push all of those things out of your mind and focus on the one thing that actually matters. Our heavenly Father’s forgiveness, His love, His mercy and His grace. All of which are in ample, endless supply if we will, or can, only manage to step back and acknowledge it, accept it, and focus on it.
I Thank God for his plan of salvation and his willingness to put up with our emotional, spiritual and physical frailties even after everything we’ve seen, read, heard and lived. When we are weak, He is strong (2 Cor 12:8-10)…don’t deny Him the chance to carry us out of the despair from which we continually sink into His open and loving embrace.