Sometimes we cry but it seems there’s no one there to listen.
Our pleas for help go unheard, our prayers unanswered. The shadows grow darker and the pain digs deeper. We seek help, comfort, any warm body to at least stand nearby, but we are alone, stranded in our sorrow, our hurt, our turmoil. No one cares, no one comforts, and even if they did, it wouldn’t matter.
As Jesus did on the cross, towards the end of those six grueling hours, when the sun hid its face and the Father lifted his hand, we cry the words of David:
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, NIV)
Ever been there? I sure have. It’s not a pretty place to be and certainly not a place any of us want to spend too much time. That valley is patchworked with thorny underbrush, rocky terrain, sinister caves, and some of the darkest shadows you’ve ever seen.
But if you’re reading Psalm 22 and taking in David’s lonesome words please don’t stop there. It isn’t the end of the story. The beginning of verse 3 is the best part, the redemption, the flood light that flips on and casts away every shadow and every creature that loves darkness and lurks in those shadows.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One.
Here are three things to keep in mind when battling loneliness, abandonment, depression, fatigue:
- The Valley of the Shadow of Death? Remember, they’re only shadows. They can’t hurt you. Not really. They are powerless and so easily banished by the Light.
- Loneliness and abadonment are just feelings. They’re powerful feelings, believe me, I’ve experienced it all, but they carry no truth, no substance. You’re never alone. And you can take that to the bank.
- No matter how bad things get, how painful, how seemingly hopeless, God is still on the throne. He sees all, hears all, loves you more than you can even understand, and knows what He’s doing.
Question: How do you remind yourself that God is present and near when everything around you and every emotion within you tries to tell you otherwise?