‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ Psalm 22.1
One of the reasons why many people love the psalms is that they contain the whole range of human emotions, so it’s easy for us to identify with them and let the words of the psalmists’ become our words. The challenge of the psalms is that they often seek to lead us from an emotion to a new truth, and we are called to grow with the psalm to find the reality of the truth it expresses.
Psalm 22 is a great example of this. Throughout the psalm there seems to be a dialogue between desperation and hope – a tension with which so many of us can identify. On the one hand, it speaks of the reality that many may feel of being forsaken by God, yet a few verses later it proclaims that God is enthroned as the Holy One (verse 3). It mentions being mocked and ridiculed (verse 7), yet also declares that God is the one who has not hidden his face from us (verse 24). God does not condemn us for feelings of desperation and this psalm, along with some others, gives us a voice to express our desperation. Yet it also presents us with wonderful truths that function like open doors, so that by going through them we can find new and different outlooks for our lives.
Choose a psalm, read through it now, and find a phrase that you can hold on to throughout the day. Let it serve as an ‘open door’ through which you can catch a fresh glimpse of God and he can convey a wonderful truth to you.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission