Long enough, God—you’ve ignored me long enough. I’ve looked at the back of your head long enough. Long enough I’ve carried this ton of trouble, lived with a stomach full of pain. Long enough my arrogant enemies have looked down their noses at me. Take a good look at me, God, my God; I want to look life in the eye, so no enemy can get the best of me or laugh when I fall on my face. Psalm 13:1-4 (The Message).
You want a more traditional version of this Psalm—check your King James Version, or New International Version or better yet, maybe the New Living Translation or the New American Standard Bible. Guess what, they all say the same thing. Can it get any worse, let’s see? I will use a more traditional scripture interpretation.
My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me? Why do you remain so distant? Why do you ignore my cries for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief. Psalm 22:1-2 (New Living Translation).
Have you ever doubted God’s love for you? According to Richard H. Schmidt (2005), “most of us feel forsaken by God from time to time. We feel either that God is real but has turned his back on us, or that the God we had thought was real is actually an illusion.” (p. 44). Those words in Psalm 22 were quoted by Jesus on the cross. He too felt abandoned by the One he had trusted; the one that God loves; God’s only begotten son.
Can I ask you again? Have you ever doubted God’s love for you? If so, revisit your life to see how faithful God has been to you, how he has blessed you, how he had protected you and how even today God continues to communicate with you. Are you surprised that he met your needs, not your wants, but your needs? Are you surprised to feel His presence among your friends and within your heart? Are your life renewed with optimism and hope.
Yes, we will feel abandoned again, but remember Jesus was one of us and he was there in that forsaken place. But according to Schmidt (2005), Jesus is also God and therefore, God knows what it is like to feel abandoned. Yes, this knowledge takes faith, but I pray that through your study of holy readings, prayers, your circumstances and fellowship with your faith community that God’s love for you will be revealed. So I say trust God and I pray today that we never forget God’s loves for us.