Psalm 22:11 (NIV)
Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
Today is Good Friday, the day that Jesus was hung on the cross to die. One of the things he said while he was on the cross was, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me,” which is a reference to Psalm 22, where the above verse was also taken.
Several different parts of this psalm are prophetic to the day Jesus is on the cross. Verse 8 recounts the insults that are hurled at Jesus. Verse 18 talks about how they cast lots for his clothes. The end of the psalm celebrates God’s faithfulness and victory, but it takes a while to get there. There is much sorrow to get through before that.
I wanted to really meditate on this verse in particular today. Because it is something I have felt in the past and will probably feel again in the future. It’s that moment when I go through the hard, low, dark, and scary places in life. When I lose a friend, a family member, or a child. When the things I put my faith in (finances, relationships, passions, or success) fail. When depression or anxiety take over my life, bringing embarrassment, guilt or shame. When community fails.
I talk a lot about the amazing community I have around me. All of you have propped me up with wonderful and encouraging comments during some really hard times. Your prayers have been felt in these past six years, and I don’t want to treat that lightly. But I know that sometimes, community has their limits. Sometimes it’s because I don’t share everything. Sometimes it’s bad timing. Sometimes it just is what it is.
But the amazing and awesome fact that God is still there keeps me going. Even when I can’t feel his presence, I have his promise. I remember the times in my life that God’s presence was felt, that his plan was made apparent, and I cling to those moments in the silence of isolation.
I know that some of you have felt let down by your community, and it’s hard. It’s heartbreaking. But I want to tell you that God is still there. He is limitless. His plan is perfect. He is mourning with you. When Christ died, the world turned dark, the veil was ripped in two. God was there. The Spirit was there. And they are still there, walking each agonizing, hard step with you.