Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Devotion 3.15.17

Suffering - Psalm 22

Suffering is exacerbated by another equal and profound feeling, that of being lonely.  There is a difference between being alone and being lonely.  Loneliness gives that feeling of having no where to turn.  I've experienced it a couple of times in life as I dealt with issues in my family, both times with my parents and both times from distances where going home was not an option.  To frame the story, I was away and received a call, once to tell me they were getting a divorce (I was in college) and the other to tell me my dad had gotten into trouble (we had suspected dementia but he still lived back at home and we had moved to a different city).  Both calls took the wind out of my sails.  Both meant a dramatic change in my life was coming which I understood after hearing the voice on the other side tell me what had happened.  So, there I stood, flat-footed.  In both instances, I think I stood and stared out into nothingness for a period.

When something dramatic and sudden happens, it can have that impact on our lives.  You suddenly understand the phrase, "It took the wind from my sails."

David, feeling deep and profound loneliness, says this in Psalm 22:  "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest."

We do know God listens to us, and that he has not turned His back on us.  We know He is answering our prayer or will answer our prayer, yet we feel that loneliness of the moment.  Christ, as he was dying on the cross, cried out the same prayer David lifted, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46). 

Here is what we learn.  In both instances, David's prayer was heard as was Christ's.  Ultimately, when we feel like they did, we know one thing:  God hears our prayer and has delivered us Christ, who defeats the wages of sin in our lives that produce the loneliness caused from suffering because we know, in truth, it is temporary, as was their own.  When we are in these moments, we pray that the Spirit strengthen us and give us wisdom to work through our suffering, either our own or that of a loved one.  We seek God's guidance through prayer and the true wisdom of others to whom we can turn as fellow believers.

Hope Men's Ministry

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