Today was another session of “Wild Church” where we go to a park and walk the trails as an opportunity to experience God in nature. It was a chance to talk to God without the pull of the TV or computer. We walk alone so we’re not distracted by friends wanting to chat. It’s us and God.
As I went to Wild Church, I wasn’t in a good frame of mind. I’d been hurt by people I care about so my feelings were raw. My stomach condition had me racked with pain. Those two issues combined to destabilize me, leaving me feeling unbalanced, hurt, and alone. But as I walked, I cried out to God. We have been studying Jesus’ ministry in Sunday School and the words that kept coming to me were some of Jesus’ last words as He hung on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46 The Message)
I felt abandoned by God. I couldn’t see Him through my pain. But as I walked, I realized that what I am feeling was valid. I am struggling to see God. I am in pain and feel alone but God is with me even when I feel deserted. He doesn’t condemn my feelings; He’s just encouraging me to see past them. As Jesus’ life was ebbing, He felt alone but then, at the end of His life, “Jesus called loudly, ‘Father, I place my life in your hands!’ Then he breathed his last.” (Luke 23:46 The Message). Even when feeling abandoned, His last words were to give His life to the Father.
I will get through this but while I’m in the midst, my heart knows God is with me. He still loves me even when my faith falters. Like a toddler resisting a hug, God is patient, waiting on me to be ready to feel His arms around me. I may feel abandoned, but God hasn’t gone anywhere.