“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”-Mark 15:34
Forsaken. Rejected. Abandoned. To be given up entirely: forgotten, deserted, and without hope. Is there a far lonelier cry than this?
Whosoever cries out in this anguish has lost everything, and has been declined of every kind of help or assistance one has ever sought. To him, no door is open, even from a distant dream. To him, no friend is present, and all that have remained serve only to mock him in his hurts.
This is the cry of those dying in the streets, their worm-infested bodies decaying even before their breath has gone. This is the cry of the abandoned mother, not knowing how to feed the child she is yet to bear. This is the cry of the old man alone in his room, afraid of his death and yet even more terrified of dying alone.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.-Psalm 22:1-2
This is the kind of darkness that covers all light from one’s soul, the kind of grief that burrows deeply and sharply upon the heart, rendering it unable to move, unable even to ask for healing.
All that it knows is this pain, this darkness. And in the darkest of all hours, it cries out to the only One who could possibly hear it, yet seems unwilling to, “My God, why have you forsaken me?”
To be forsaken even by God. To be unable to understand why such an evil has to happen, has to be allowed to happen by the One Good God who can do all things. Why hasn’t He stopped this from happening? Why has He allowed me to be hurt like this? And where is He now when I need Him most of all?
But there is no answer. There is no sermon. There is no comfort. All that follows is silence.
What must a soul do? In all its pain, a soul cries out even louder. It hurls all its frustrations towards heaven. It narrates a long list of all the good deeds it has done, of all the noble acts that have been unrewarded. In frustration, the soul asks why such a punishment is given in return? The soul asks for justice and for mercy, but there is none. All that follows is silence.
Hanging upon the cross, Jesus uttered the same words, and asked the same question:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
In that very hour, it’s as though all the powers of heaven were absent and never even existed. In that hour, all that existed were darkness, grief and pain. Where was the Hand of the Father who Provides and Protects? Where was the Hand that stopped the storm and raised even the dead back into life? Every trace of God’s goodness is missing. There was no sign of Him at all! There was no nod from heaven. No miracle that turns water into wine. No angel to cheer him on. Could it be that the Father has forgotten? Could it be that He changed His plans and left Him? What of His promises? How could it all come true now? If there is no justice now, how can there be justice in the future? If there is no sign of life right at this moment, how can there even be an eternity?
Haven’t we felt the same thing in our loneliness? With our faith we declare that we believe in God’s goodness, that we believe in heaven. Yet when difficult times come, heaven quickly loses its meaning for us. It does not only become distant, it becomes absurd, something that cannot co-exist with the darkness we’re currently going through.
Think of Joseph The Dreamer. He received a vision from God, he knew God has a special plan for him. But what happened? He was sold as a slave, and after that, he even went to prison! How can God’s plan for him come true now?
This is the darkness where the soul cannot even trace his own faith, where even his spiritual eyes are shut closed. What do you do when you cannot even see the face of faith?
To this, Mother Teresa has an answer. BLIND FAITH. I used to think all faith is blind, but no faith is ever as blind as this, when one is passing through the darkest night of one’s soul.
“Pray for me – for within me everything is icy cold. – It is only that blind faith that carries me through for in reality to me all is darkness.”-Mother Teresa
Jesus had BLIND FAITH. For even if forsaken, Jesus never stopped with those words of anguish. In total surrender, His last words had been: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”
How can you entrust yourself to the One who has forsaken you?
I used to be unable to understand this until I felt the same darkness from within me. Having lost all hope and faith that things are going to be better, having lost even the love of the One God who alone can uphold you, what more could you possibly do?
There was nothing more that we could do. We couldn’t force God to come to our aid and do as we wish. But we also couldn’t do anything for ourselves. Any rebellious behavior would only destroy us more, would only bring more hurt and pain, not only for us but for those we also love. We also couldn’t count on anybody else, for all have rejected us and deserted us.
Considering all these, there is really no other alternative for us but to entrust everything upon GOD!
Why? Because despite and in spite everything that has ever happened, He is still the One hope we’ve got. He’s still the only One who could possibly hear us. If we have nobody else to bet on, why not bet on God? Why not risk on God? He is after all our last recourse. He is in the end, the Only One we have.
“From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” – John 6:66-68
By the way, in God’s perfect time, Joseph became the Governor of all Egypt, saving the entire nation as well as His family from famine. And Jesus? He rose again to a new life free from all death, pain and suffering, a life He purchased for us all during His darkest hours when He cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
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