“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.
Yet: You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In You our fathers trusted; they trusted and You delivered them. To You they cried and were rescued, in you they trusted and were not put to shame.” Psalm 22:1-5
This is a significant prophetic reference about Jesus on the Cross-one to remember. There is also a significant principle for disciples to embrace here as well.
How many times have I run into a situation that tilts against me and I have said (or thought): “This isn’t fair!!” Or “I don’t deserve to be treated like this!!” Or “Why is this happening? Why is (so and so) against me?” A lot. Let’s put it this way: I am not unfamiliar with these responses in my life.
For instance: I feel beat down. I get surprised at responses going against me when I thought that they shouldn’t. I give grace and understanding: Shouldn’t I receive grace and understanding in return? Why aren’t my prayers being answered? Why aren’t I getting good things (even if those desired good things are just warm fuzzies)?
At the root of this thinking and emotion is a focus on me and not on God. “Aren’t I special enough to spare me this pain?” In other words: I am making an idol of myself. This also indicates that I have not understood the implications of the Gospel and being a disciple-God’s stated objective with me is to make me in the Image of the Son. (Rom 8:29) Also, even issues that feel like being ignored, forsaken, must be considered in the fact that God is Good and all the things He does is Good and especially for me (Rom 8:28).
I have to continually remind myself that He is the Creator, I am created; He is the Potter, I am the clay. It is His prerogative to mold me, shape me, to His purpose. Reference Rom 9:20-21a.
So, this may read like I am advocating “Suck it up, Buttercup.” Not at all. Jesus, knowing our weakness, shows us in Ps 22 that He hears and understands our complaint. For us, though, in our prayer we need to acknowledge “Yet You are holy; In You I trust; In you is found rescue; in You I will not be put to shame.” These statements are not addendum to make my prayer OK-they are necessary for me to embrace fiercely and with determination. It is necessary to conform my mind to the Scriptures in this matter.
Lord God, You hear my cry in the daytime, in the night; when I thinking You know my thoughts, the musings of my heart. You see when I am weak. You hear me when I pray. You hear me when I pray well; You hear me when I pray in a way that makes You chuckle and shake Your Head. You see my Now and see my End and all the points of growth in-between. Thank you for now forsaking me even when my faith gets wobbly. I want to walk worthy of the calling with which You called me. I will cooperate with You, Holy Spirit, to grow into my Lord’s likeness. AMEN.