If the Son of God himself could feel abandoned because his Father appeared silent, I suppose I can too.
Jesus was earthbound because his Father sent him. Now he was hanging on a cross after having been brutally beaten and abused. What father wouldn’t come to a son or daughter’s rescue in similar circumstances…even kill for them? But not Jesus’ Father. He let him hang there and suffer even more pain, agony, and ridicule. No intervention. No apparent concern.
At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice…“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27: 46) Jesus’ cry was evidence he was experiencing the weight of humanity’s sins, not proof of his Father’s absence.
God has never abandoned me, but there have been occasions when I felt deserted because he seemed silent. When I lost employment and a career and had no skills to do anything else. When a family deteriorated and eventually dissolved. When my annual income was cut in half. When insufficient finances led to repossessions and a bad credit rating. And I asked, God, why have you abandoned me? Didn’t you promise to meet my needs…Well?
How I feel doesn’t necessarily match reality, and feeling God has abandoned me never does. I have his promise that he’ll never leave or forsake me. While obstinate, selfish living and intentional sin can interfere with me hearing God, he’s not the one who has moved.
God’s apparent silence can also be a sign I need a more intimate connection with him. He can place feelings of abandonment in my heart so I’ll seek him, and when I do I’ll find him in fresh and new experiences.
If you feel God has abandoned you, investigate why. He doesn’t want you to feel deserted but rather loved and cuddled.
Prayer: Eternal God, we confess our need and desire to vividly feel Your presence every day.
Martin Wiles is a “preacher’s kid,” author, speaker, and freelance writer and editor currently living in Greenwood, South Carolina. He and his wife Michelle are founders of Love Lines From God, a devotional ministry that helps those who want to enhance their spiritual journey with Christ. His latest book, Grits & Grace & God, is available at Amazon.