Jesus’ Cry From Psalm 22

When Jesus was dying on the Cross, He cried out the first words of Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” People read that and think it is evidence God abandoned His Son there… just like we think He does with us when we don’t recognize His nearness. We need to realize though that Jesus was hinting at something when He quoted this passage of Scripture. He expected His hearers to know the whole Psalm…

The passage Jesus was quoting goes on to say in verse 24, “For [God] has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and He has NOT hidden His face from him — but has heard, when he cried to Him…”

God didn’t turn away from Christ in that moment. No, in fact Paul tells us “God was [present/manifest] IN Christ, reconciling the world to Himself — not counting their trespasses against them,” (2nd Corinthians 5:19).

We don’t worship a Father who leaves His children. He is with us, even in our darkest moments…. Yes, even when it is we who despise and reject Him.

Enjoy serving a loyal, ever-Present God, y’all!

A Good Friday Encounter

Good Friday is my favorite holy day. It’s always a great opportunity to reflect on Christ suffering for us, as us. He put to death our sinful, egoic nature once and for all — and we now get to live in unbroken union with God.

All that said, I really wanted to mark today with some kind of recognition/appreciation of all it stands for. Clearly, however, there were not a lot of options for doing that in any traditional ways with the world’s current circumstances…

As I was driving through Kirkwood tonight, I had the thought to stop in and visit a Catholic adoration chapel that I’d prayed in several times before. I wasn’t sure if it would even be open, but I figured it was worth a try. Turns out, the chapel had been closed and a larger, remodeled one had opened across the yard from it. It was unlocked and almost entirely empty, and the new room I entered was beautiful! It was such a godsend, on the perfect day of the calendar to find it.

I SO needed this quiet, sacred space to engage with the Lord. My practice of contemplation has been seriously lacking this year, and along with that I haven’t felt very confident that I’ve been seizing each day for what it’s worth like I could lately.

With the Body and Blood present before me, and a journal in my lap, Jesus met and spoke to me there. Here’s what I felt His Spirit whispering to my heart… Maybe it will speak to yours as well:

“Life and life more abundant. Joy and bliss. Rich relational fulfillment. Good memories, new experiences, exciting adventures… Learning, growing, discovering and connecting… This is what’s ahead. This is what I have in store for you, every leg of the journey — as my GIFT to you. 

“It has nothing to do with your hustle or grind or perfection of diligence. It’s freely available, regardless of merit, in every season of life.

“Your days will be marked by My goodness. I’ll not disappoint you. I adore you and have pre-planned so many great moments for you to step into.

“Yes, be attentive to Me. But recognize that I can get your attention even when you are silly and get distracted. My grace is too big and expansive and generous to let you stay in an empty or confusing place without any wake up calls. I will always whoo you into the awareness of My Glory.

“Life is to be savored. The enemy cannot stop you from enjoying it. Really hard circumstances cannot stop you from enjoying it. Even you cannot ruin My plan. I’m too good to put that kind of burden on your shoulders to carry….

“Your destiny is in My hands, beloved. I’m writing your future with, through and FOR you. Expect the best to haunt you — even when your expectations are low!

“As you grow you’ll see, it only gets better from here.”

Happy Holy Week, everyone!