Fist shaking - Hope 103.2

Fist shaking

By David ReayMonday 30 Dec 2013LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Psalm 22:1-5

1 My God,my God,why have you forsaken me?
      Why are you so far from helping me,from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God,I cry by day,but you do not answer;
       and by night,but find no rest.

3 Yet you are holy,

       enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4 In you our ancestors trusted;
       they trusted,and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried,and were saved;
       in you they trusted,and were not put to shame. (NRSV)

Let’s face it,sometimes God seems to make no sense at all. He seems to have taken a holiday or turned a deaf ear to our cries for help. We may recognise this is not objectively true,but it feels true. At such times it is natural to pour out our complaint to God. This is what the Psalmist did. We dare not censor our feelings of anguish: God knows them anyway so we may as well express them openly.

Jesus did so on the cross,using the very words which open this Psalm. He was in pain and felt God forsaken. So he said so. God has broad shoulders: he can take what we throw at him. Job’s friends tried to talk Job out of such honesty but they were misguided.

However,as we shake our fists at God we need to remember that how we feel and what we experience is not the whole picture. The Psalmist reminds us of this. Having cried out in pain he also recognises that God is not the type of God who abandons his people. He may feel abandoned,but he senses that he is not perhaps truly abandoned. The very fact that he cries out to God indicates that he trusts God is still there.

And Jesus’ experience on the cross reminds us that God is at work even as we feel abandoned. Jesus’ experience of God forsakenness was in fact an essential part of God saving people like us. Good is happening despite the immediate pain. Just because God makes no sense to us doesn’t mean he is not at work pursuing his good and sometimes mysterious purposes.

David Reay