You and I are on the roller coaster of life everyday. We ride up and down, in and out; we seemingly have no control on where we are going. Sometimes we are silent, and sometimes we scream. Sometimes we hold on tight, and at other times, we let go and are carefree. I do not know about you, but I can tell you, there are times when I simply want to get off the ride. I want smooth sailing, not all the twists and turns. I want to know what is coming next, and not to be fearful of the unknown.
In our text for Sunday, Psalm 22, we are reminded of the roller coaster of life in a poignant way. This is a personal lament psalm, and it is the one Jesus quoted from the cross with those piercing opening words, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" I shudder each time I hear those words because the feeling of abandonment is perhaps the most painful in the human experience.
The good news of the Psalm and of our existence, however is that we are not left alone, though we may feel like we are. Immediately after questioning God's presence, the psalmist is comforted in God's faithfulness throughout the generations. That up and down, back and forth is exactly the way we live today. Sometimes we feel God's presence, and at other times we feel completely alone. Sometimes we are close, and other times far away. What can we take from this?
Perhaps the most comforting claim is found in verse 24. The Psalmist exclaims, "for he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help." In other words, God hears our prayer each time, every time. But that is not all...we can be comforted by his presence even when we are not feeling it. Our feelings are a poor barometer of God's faithfulness. We are called to trust in that we do not see, and sometimes that we do not feel...that is what faith truly is.
So I challenge you to hold on tight to the ride. Sometimes up, down, left or right, but never alone, and never without hope.
May God bless you and keep you,