Psalm 22.1&7-8; Daily reflections for Lent, Mar 22
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
From passage; Psalm 22, NIV
Should our lives be easier because of our faith in God? Should we cope better than non-believers in times of difficulty?
Belief in God is sometimes referred to as a crutch – something that helps people through life. It’s a little bit of an insulting view because it implies that Christians are in some way weaker than those who don’t need this crutch to cope with life challenges!
What is ironic is that it is often because of our faith that our lives are more difficult. Being obedient to God’s call on our lives sometimes means following Him to difficult places, taking on challenging tasks, being a lone voice standing up for Kingdom values.
During a recent challenging time an atheist friend of mine said, ‘At least you have your faith to help you through this.’ It was meant well, but at that time I was crying out to the Lord rather like the Psalmist is doing here – I was in anguish and God seemed far away. I mumbled something like ‘Yes I suppose so’, but really I felt like saying, ‘Actually no, it is my faith that has got me into this trouble, God is taking a very long time to get me out of this and so frankly my life would be a lot easier without it!’
Afterwards, I thought of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane contemplating what was ahead of him on the cross. He was in anguish and he asked our Father ‘if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.’ We follow a good example when we follow the difficult path that is laid out before us and perhaps there is no shame in crying out to God ‘I’m a Christian, get me out of here!’. Unfortunately we are also commanded to pray ‘Your will be done’!
About the author
- Priest-in-Charge, Parks and Walcot, Swindon.