“And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'” (Mark 15:33-34)
Have you ever had someone shush you for saying something they believe God won’t like? Maybe you expressed anger or frustration with God. Maybe it was doubt. Or maybe it was the language you used, that someone else felt shocked by. “Shush!” they hiss. “Don’t say that to God.” It’s as if they think God is too delicate or too angry to handle our feelings.
That’s why it comforts me to hear Jesus crying out these words: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” God’s own Son cries out the words that so many of us have used at terrible, desolate moments in our lives. And we don’t need to explain it away by saying, “Oh, He was just quoting Psalm 22.” He was indeed—and His heart was in it, every word of it.
Jesus is the proof that God can handle us, all of us—the good, the bad, and the ugly. He can take our desperation, our fear, our doubt, our anger. He will not give up on us because we offend His delicate ears. We can spill our hearts out at His feet, knowing that the same God who once hung on that cross will show us everlasting love, mercy, and help. He died for us and rose from the grave for us. Now He calls us to bring our every need to Him—however we word it.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You love me and do not reject me. Amen.
* Has anybody ever scolded you for what you said in prayer?
* Do you yourself feel nervous about saying certain things to God? Why or why not?
* How do you pray when you are in the deepest trouble and grief?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Reprinted from Lutheran Hour Ministries
(To view the entire “Lenten Devotions” mini-series, please click here.)