God, why are you so far from helping me?

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Psalm 22:1 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.

What do we know about David’s relationship with God? We know it was a close one. The spirit of God was with David early in his life. God raised him up as king and blessed him in every way. He went down in history as “a man after God’s own heart”. In many ways David is an example to us of someone who puts complete trust in the Lord.

Then there’s this passage.

V.1-2 in particular resonate for me. If you’ve ever been in a desperate situation when things go from bad to worse, when cries to God seem to fall on deaf ears, you can relate to this passage. Some have referred to times like this as “the dark night of the soul”. It’s awful. And it’s clear if King David had times like this, as close to God as he was, we should expect to experience the same at some point. Maybe many times.

But then there’s verses 3-5. As bad as things were for David he never gave up completely on God. Why? Because God had proven himself trustworthy over and over. And so in the midst of deep darkness there is a tiny light of hope based not on the experience of the moment, but on a lifetime of grace from the Lord.

This morning I was talking with my daughter Victoria. She is a junior biology major at S.M.U. It’s been a long road for her. She was struggling at the time of her high school graduation and it took her a few years to get focused and moving toward a university education and a career. As we were talking I asked about her graduation date. She’s had to move things around several times along the way so she wasn’t sure. Turns out she’s due to graduate next May and hopefully move on to medical school.

What made me grin was how surprised she was that she will finish her bachelor’s degree so soon. She’s had so many delays and struggles along the way she just assumed it would be much longer. And I saw a weight lift from her face and a smile emerge. It’s happening. Her dreams are coming true. God has not forgotten her!

Thing is, I know how many nights she has cried out to God for help, to give her hope when it seemed nothing was going right. How many times have I heard her wonder if she will ever finish? Too many. But today the reality of God’s faithfulness came to light in my daughter. And I’m so grateful. Thank you Lord. You are good. All the time. Amen.

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