Have you ever thought to yourself when things aren’t going the way you think they should, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Recently, I have had multiple health issues, none potentially serious on their own. This has gone on for several months and by now has completely depleted me of energy, causing me to be tired all the time. I have had to cancel most things on my schedule because it just seems overwhelming to even consider these functions.
Then, this past weekend as the temperature outside dipped to 20 degrees, my furnace went out and couldn’t be repaired until Monday morning. And, guess what crossed my mind? Father, why have you forsaken me? I felt abandoned. As soon as I thought that, I was sorrowful that my faith was so weak. Do I really have so little trust in God to even think that?
As I was feeling sorry for myself, I thought about the many people that I work for at Hope Emergency who have so many health issues and I realized how truly blessed I am. They not only need food to supplement their meager budget but blankets to keep them warm all the time. The furnace man is likely not coming to them in the next 2 days. Their health issues will also not likely be settled over time with a few medications and bedrest. I wonder how I could have ever thought God had forsaken me.
And now during Lent, as I put myself at the foot of the cross and see Jesus raise his head to the heavens and hear Him whisper, “My God, why have you forsaken me”, I realize this may not be a lack of faith but rather the human trait of feeling abandoned. Even Jesus, the man, reached this point when his suffering became so great, he could take no more! He thought he had been forgotten by his father. I’ve never thought of Jesus as being weak but rather a man of supreme faith and strength. Yet, Jesus is saying the same thing that I was thinking.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen noted in his book, The Seven Last Words that, “It was the supreme act of atonement for three classes of people: those who abandon God, those who doubt the presence of God, and those who are indifferent to God.”
My God, never let me reach a point where I feel you have totally abandoned me!