Noon of Good Friday comes and the sky turns black. Mark 15:33-34 shares that it is total darkness that can be felt like the plague in Egypt, total darkness for three hours. This is not an eclipse that can be very scary if unexpected but it is darkness deeper and longer. After three hours Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He is praying Psalm 22:
1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
2My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer;
by night, but I find no rest.
3Yet you are the Holy One,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4Our ancestors put their trust in you,
they trusted, and you rescued them.
11Be not far from me, for trouble is near,
and there is no one to help.
It is possible to feel totally abandon by family and friends and life can feel like a dark sink-hole with no bottom and no end. That is the feeling of abandonment, of despair, and of depression – the feeling of being totally alone to carry the weight of your world.
The psalmist, though, goes on to describe not the feeling but the reality:
24For the Lord does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty;
neither is the Lord‘s face hidden from them;
but when they cry out, the Lord hears them.
During our darkest hours is when our souls need the truth of Scripture. We are in the midst of our agony, despairing in prayer, our soul crying out to God, and our world seems cloaked in darkness. Often our feelings cannot access God’s love and we need Scripture, prayer, music to remind us that God is there carrying us and holding us. Even as Jesus cried out on the cross, so we are free to cry out our despair to God.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3
When we face situations that drive us to despair and make us feel abandoned, forsaken, may we cry to God for he does not despise us nor abhor us but is there with us in the silence, listening. Thank you, Lord.