Why have you forsaken me?

If you feel like crying out to God, “Why have you forsaken me,” you would do well to reflect on and remember Jesus’ prayer and fourth word from the cross from Psalm 22:1.

When you call out to God from the depths of your own despair, remember to whom you are calling.  Jesus was there first.  He called out first and he was heard.   Hebrews 5:7-9 reminds us of this —  During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

Listen to the poetic words of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who herself knew what it meant to be forsaken.  Her parents disowned her when she married Robert Browning. She wrote her parents beautiful poetry and letters of her love for them.  Her parents responded after ten years by sending all of her letters back to her in a box all unopened.  She took great comfort from Jesus’ cry of being God-forsaken and wrote about it in her poem

Cowper’s Grave

Yea, once Immanuel’s orphaned cry his universe hath shaken.
It went up single, echoless, “My God, I am forsaken!”
It went up from the Holy’s lips amid his lost creation,
That, of the lost, no son should use those words of desolation.

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