“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest.” vss. 1-2
According to Matthew as Jesus hung on the cross on that fateful Friday we call Good, he endured scorn and abuse from all who were watching: soldiers, religious leaders, anyone who passed by…even the bandits being crucified taunted him. We can only imagine the torment and the pain, and it’s not a surprise that the only words Matthew records echoed those of the psalmist from centuries before. He felt completely abandoned and forsaken, and none of his prayers were being heard. When we read these psalms of lament we are reminded that being connected to God, even in the most intimate ways, does not exempt us from suffering. Every saint can expect that sooner or later darkness will close in and tears will flow freely. Mother Teresa wrote of her struggle in 1956, “Such deep longing for God–so deep that it is painful–a suffering continual–and yet not wanted by God–repulsed–empty–no faith–no love–no zeal–Heaven means nothing.” Those seem like strange words from one so universally admired for her deep faith and commitment to serving. Yet in many ways they make her real, not a ‘plaster of paris’ saint, but a woman humble before the Lord. Her testimony brings us comfort when we too, look deep inside and see only emptiness…when all we can do is pray…and wait for Easter to dawn.
Thought for the Day: What does despair feel like in my life?