Archive for April, 2019

“Father, why have you forsaken me!”

Crux, Cross, Crucifixion, Good FridayI love the season of Lent.  Over the years I have used the meditative call of Lent to not only reflect on my life, but to listen and learn to refresh and renew my mind.  I have been on my faith-practice journey for 30 years.   Like many “churched” people, I have been exposed to God’s Truth through scripture and Bible stories since I was a child, but began my “Desert Journey” as an adult.  You know…the “Desert Journey”…wandering around in the Word of God thinking that I know where I’m going and finding myself tripping over the same rocks!  It’s been 30 years…hopefully, it won’t take another 10 years before I come to the Promised Land of Understanding and Application of God’s Word!!

Every Lent I give up complaining.  My friends and family list the pastries and pies, booze and food that will make them feel most pious during Lent.  I prefer to give up bad habits like COMPLAINING and, in it’s place, take up being vociferously GRATEFUL.  Funny thing, though…back to the “Desert Journey”…I have COMPLAINING to give up every year!!  I would hope that somehow, without my noticing, I am gradually making being grateful more of a constant habit!  Of course, I beat myself up come the following Lent that I’ve fallen short of my spiritual goal.  Lent has a way of doing that when we become self-reflective.

I have seen more warts this Lenten season than in past years.  It’s been a tough couple of years with my younger son going to prison, and struggling with recurring, heartbreaking conflict in my marriage!  This concurrently happening along with many amazing graces and opportunities in the same time period.  It was hard to see them through my tears, unfortunately.  I truly have struggled with feeling like a failure and a fool.

“And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”
Mark 3:25 New American Bible (Revised Edition)

crux cropThen I’m stuck!  I AM the HOUSE…Scripture says I’m the Temple of God’s Holy Spirit!  I’m divided against MYSELF…FEAR or TRUST!

How could God allow this to happen to me when I have been faithful to HIM?   I recognize and, when I’m not complaining, appreciate the blessings, but He doesn’t seem to be keeping His promise to me about my children OR my marriage!  The more I pray, the worse it seems to get.

MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME??? How many times have I cried that into my pillow or screamed in the thin air? I know the scriptures that admonish me not to fear, yet here I am in excruciating fear!

But…Lent tells me there is another perspective.  Lent reminds me that “fear is useless, what is needed is TRUST” (Mark 5:36).  And that “The sin of the world is DOUBT.”  But, more importantly, Lent reminds me that Jesus felt the CRUX the SAME WAY I am feeling!!

THE CRUX… (per dictionary.com)
noun, plural crux·es, cru·ces [kroo-seez] /ˈkru siz/.
a vital, basic, decisive, or pivotal point:
1. something that torments by its puzzling nature; a perplexing difficulty.
2. a CROSS.


CrucifixAt three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
(New International Version)

I am so GLAD that Jesus spoke MY WORDS!!!! That He cried out MY DOUBT and MY pain!!!  That DOUBT is MY SIN…the SIN of the World!!  Feeling that God has turned His back on us!  Sin is doubting God’s consummate and perfect Love; doubting that He will keep His promises to love us, provide for us, defend us, protect us, take care of us, heal us; doubting that His Grace is sufficient…on and on!   Oh Father God, Do you really LOVE me???

Then Jesus spoke the Words that broke the spell of doubt!
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom;… ”
(Matthew 27:45-53)

IN SPITE OF HIS DOUBT, Jesus chose to TRUST GOD, BELIEVE GOD and entrust his spirit to Our Father!  He acknowledged his doubt and pain, yet chose to surrender to TRUSTING GOD.  With this submission to faith, DOUBT…the “veil of separation”…was torn asunder!!  With that act of faith…his ensuing death and powerful resurrection…proving that God’s plan is greater than our fear…He rendered my doubt and fear null and void!!!  Because now, in spite of my doubts, I, too, can choose to believe God and remember that through it all God loves me, He is a keeper of His promises and truly is able to take care of me and all those I love.  I can CHOOSE to TRUST GOD!  And for THAT, I am forever GRATEFUL!!!

Resurrection3Now…I can at any time, with Jesus, arise from the darkness of death…doubt and fear…into God’s brilliant, restoring Light.  Again I can see God’s amazing LOVE at work renewing ME…my SPIRITUAL HOUSE…to new life!



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