September 9 (Matthew 27:46)
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out
with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my
God, why have you forsaken me?”
I have no faith that my wife loves me, nor that my children do for that matter. At least I have no faith in their love when I am with them, for they make it abundantly clear in an infinite number of ways. My faith in their loves kicks in when I am not in their presence, when I cannot see or hear them or feel their tight embraces. It is rather like the lights on the instrument panel of my car. When it is dark, those lights come on, but when there is sufficient natural light, they dim and go away.
I could hope that you would feel the love of God all the time, but you won’t. Jesus Himself did not feel it as He cried out to His Father on the cross, so you can take it to the bank that there will be times when you cannot feel His presence or may even begin to think that He has abandoned you. This is the time for your faith. You keep going. Yes, you keep going in the practices of the Christian faith even when it feels like one gigantic farce. Yes, you keep praying and keep reading the Bible even when it feels like a waste of time. Yes, you keep attending worship even you when feel like a fraud and are not even sure you really want to worship a God Who seems not to care about you. That, my friends, is what it means to live in faith.
Even the challenging cry of “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me,” is a cry of faith, for though it may feel as if it is being hurled into emptiness, it is being heard on the far side of the dark.
Father, hear my prayer. I am struggling right now, and it is hard to take even one more step. I don’t even know what to ask of You. I can only hope that You know my heart and know what is best. I can only hope that You will direct my steps and bring me back into the light. I long for Your presence, even as Jesus longed for it as He hung on the cross. Restore me to life, Father, even as You did Him. In the name of Jesus, I pray this. Amen.
Copyright © 2017 by Steven R. Perkins