September 10, 2021

God-forsaken

Scripture Reading — Mark 15:33-37

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? — Psalm 22:1

It’s the worst day of your life. You don’t know why, but you snap. And you lash out. And you do the worst thing you have ever done. After that, everything is a blur. Police. County jail. Courtroom. Judge.

Then comes the second worst day of your life. Two corrections officers lead you into a low building. One, two, three steel-bar doors clang shut behind you. You’ve arrived. For the next 10, 20, even 30 years, this will be your home.

You know you did it. You know you deserve this. But you feel alone, completely alone. And abandoned. The psalm says it best. So you cry out, “God, why have you forsaken me?” But you’d better be careful. This is no time for tears. The next 10, 20, even 30 years will be no time for tears. Not in this place where God is so far away.

It was the worst day of Jesus’s life. He was arrested, beaten, and condemned. Then he was nailed to a cross to die. His friends deserted him. His people turned against him. He was completely alone, abandoned. And from the pit of despair he cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus knows what you are going through. And he will not abandon you. He will stay as close as your own breath.

Prayer

God says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Jesus, help me to trust that, especially on the bad days. Amen.