The texts this week speak of struggle, exile, grief and pain experienced by God’s people. Many of God’s faithful people have felt abandoned or forgotten by God in a time of deep crisis or pain. If people would be totally open about their feelings, many more would admit to this deep struggle of the soul. People often feel guilty if they admit to feeling abandoned by God in a time of grief or pain. We are supposed to be strong and courageous as we face life’s challenges and sorrows. What will people say if we express our real feelings about God?
Yet the Psalms have many laments where people feel abandoned by God. Job felt God was silent or even his enemy. As the death of his wife neared, C. S. Lewis was reminded by friends that God knew and God was present. Lewis replied, “I know God knows and is near, but does God care?” Sometimes people struggle with the same questions as Lewis. Today we are reminded of a time when Jesus also felt abandoned by God. If at some time in your life you have felt abandoned by God, do not feel guilty. God can take your feelings and questions. Be honest—if not with your loved ones or friends, at least with God. God’s presence and love go deeper than our momentary feelings and despair.
Gracious God, there are times when it is really difficult to sense your presence and care. In those times, speak to us through your Word or others, and assure us we are safe in your arms. Amen.
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