In Psalm 22:1, King David asked the question, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" This particular passage was, of course, also quoted by Christ while He was suffering on the cross for our sin.
I don't know about you, but I have to confess that since I've been a pastor's wife, I've pondered that question several times. Being misunderstood, feeling lonely and dealing with rejection, has, at times, left me feeling abandoned by God. Sometimes it has seemed as if He brought me out to the middle of nowhere, in a minuscule mountain town, and left me for dead. All I wanted to do was serve Him faithfully and obediently. And this is what I ended up with? Really?
Yes, really. I am reminded of our Lord's words that in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33). That was not a "maybe" or a "what if." No, it was almost as if He promised us that as His devoted followers, trials will come our way. But I'm encouraged by the words at the end of that verse which read, " But take heart! I have overcome the world." Those words give me hope! Everyone living on earth will assuredly go through trials and struggles, but as followers of Christ, we can take courage in knowing that He has overcome all of the stuff that so easily weighs us down and entangles us! We must remember that He even overcame the insurmountable trial of death!
The Lord isn't surprised when we're rejected because of our service to Him. Feelings of being totally forsaken don't shock Him. In fact, He understands fully what is is like to feel lonely and misunderstood. I was just re-reading through Matthew's account of the events that occurred at the Garden of Gethsemane. Talk about feeling complete and utter loneliness. Here was Jesus, just asking several friends to watch and pray, which seems easy enough, and yet they just couldn't do it.
Just as Christ was in no way forsaken, neither are we. No matter what our emotions may dictate is true, the absolute truth remains that He will never leave us or forsake us (Deut. 31:6). In that, I find tremendous comfort. As I prepare to reflect tomorrow, Good Friday, on the sacrifice made by Christ on behalf of all of humanity, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that He has never, nor will He ever turn His back on His children. Our God is faithful and loves us more deeply than we will ever be able to comprehend. Those truths lift my spirit and lighten my heart. Even on the days that I feel trapped in the mountains. I pray that today, the truth of having Christ as a faithful, trustworthy, steady friend will bring joy to your heart and a song to your spirit as well.