|March 13, 2019
By Joe Brummel
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
and by night, but find no rest.
3 Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4 In you our ancestors trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried, and were saved;
in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.
Read the full psalm.
A light-hearted sign hanging in our house reads, “Our children are welcome if invited. Our grandchildren are welcome anytime!!” Don’t misunderstand, we get along great with our daughters—they laughed when they first read it. It simply means we adore our grandkids, and we miss them when we are separated from them. I can go about a week away from them, and there seems to be an internal alarm that screams, “You need to find a grandchild and hug them quick!” Separation sucks: for the soldier who leaves family, for the college student who departs for the semester, and for the child left in the church nursery!
Psalm 22 is about a heart that feels separated from God. It reflects a time when God doesn’t feel close. He doesn’t seem to care. How we feel often conflicts with the truth we know about God. The lyrics of a Lauren Daigle song (“You Say”) share this struggle:
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh, you say that I am yours
And I believe.
Feelings tell us God doesn’t care; faith reminds us of his love. Feelings fool us into thinking God has hidden his face from us; faith convicts our hearts that he will never leave or forsake us. Feelings are fickle and often crush the spirit; faith gives hope.
Jesus deliberately quotes Psalm 22 from the cross, beginning with feelings of separation, but as he suffers, the entire psalm runs through his mind until his heart hears, “He has not hidden his face from him, but answered him when he called” (v. 24). Jesus clings to faith, not feelings, in his trials.