“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me from the words of my groaning?” – Psalm 22:1
“You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.” – Psalm 22:23-24
When I read Psalm 22, I was amazed by how quickly in one Psalm, David went from the heaviness of feeling forsaken by the Lord to the uplifted spirit of praising the Lord and placing his full trust in Him! I am sure that there are periods in our lives that we might feel the same way too, that God has not heard our groaning and it is so hard to lift our spirits from that miry clay. How did David move from despair to hope and awe?
As I reflected on David’s life and his relationship with our God, I thought of the many times that he was in a place of desperation. During those moments, despite his strong faith in God, David was willing to acknowledge how vulnerable and weak he felt and brought it to God honestly instead of pretending he was fine. He chose to turn to God and shared his raw emotions with God knowing that he would not be condemned. It is only through this openness with our Heavenly Father that God can come into work in those painful areas in our lives.
However, David did not just stop at pouring out his heart to the Lord. He chose to fix his eyes on who God is and on His faithfulness – and not on the circumstances he was in. He made a choice to focus on what was true and eternal instead of the temporal. And more than that, David made a choice to praise God in the midst of the painful experiences.
While reading a Lent devotional, I was reminded that this was what Jesus did too, when instituting the Lord’s Supper. He gave thanks for his body that would be broken for us and his blood that was going to be shed for us. Even with full awareness of the suffering he would bear, Jesus gave thanks. And on the cross, he showed us that it is possible to fix our eyes on God even when we are in pain.
Our God can turn our heart’s cries to our heart’s praises. He can take us out of the miry clay and set our feet upon the solid rock that is built on Him alone.
1.Are we willing to openly talk to God about our struggles and disappointments?
2.Will we open up our hearts to allow the Holy Spirit to minister to us as we fix our eyes on God instead of our circumstances?
By sister Sarah Choo