I had this chilling God moment. The kind when you are slicing potatoes one moment and weeping the next.
It started with a conversation a few days before. A friend made the comment that she was disappointed in God. She is hurting after some very tough life circumstances; it is a feeling we can all relate to at one time or another. But the overarching belief for this wounded soul is that God has abandoned her. Forsaken her.
Every time she says this, it causes a spiritual tsunami in my soul. Her words trigger a flood of memories of desperate times in my own life, times of blatant sin, wrenching heartache, unmet dreams, or even waiting in-the-tension prayers. Yet through them all, God’s faithfulness was truly my only hope. Her unbelief grieves me.
I empathize with her hurt and questions — been there and done that. But what separates our path is I took those same questions and hurt right back to Him. Where else would I go? Who else could help me?
How could I run away from the only life and love I have ever known?
So with compassion but with relentless confidence, I continue to declare God’s faithfulness to my friend. I trust He will woo her in time. I pray for my friend, and for us all, to become more steadfast, more determined to believe in the goodness of God.
Then God invaded my kitchen.
I had been listening to a “classic” song called, “Arise, My Love.” This song is so powerful and we sang it often in the church I was saved in.
Fast forward twenty plus years and I hear a line in that familiar song for the first time:
Could it be that His Father had forsaken him?
Suddenly I was overwhelmed by the Spirit. I heard my friend talk about being forsaken, but then I saw Jesus walk over and lay down in the grave. The words “Never Forsaken” were pressed into my heart.
And the thought came to me, did Jesus really believe that God had forsaken him?
“Could it be that His Father had forsaken him?
Turned his back on His Son, despising our sin.
All hell seemed to whisper, “Just forget Him, He’s dead.”
My friend sounded like this. Just forget Him, He’s dead. What about you? When you are broken and beaten beyond recognition, how do you take the next step? Who do you go to?
The Spirit continued our tutorial. What would prompt a man to die for others except for the hope of something greater to be gained? In this holy moment, the Spirit showed me that there is only one reason Jesus was able to lay his body down. For me. For you. For all the world’s sin.
He was to willing to suffer and die and lay down because of one thing—He trusted His Father’s Heart. In my download, I saw Jesus laying in the tomb. WAITING.
Jesus was so confident of the Goodness of God that He was willing to give everything, lose everything, because He knew without a doubt that His Dad, Our Dad, would whisper, “Arise. My Love.”
How then can we ever repeat the enemy’s lie? Forget Him. He’s Dead.
How can we ever say we have been forgotten, or abandoned, or forsaken if we truly see Jesus laying down in the grave, full of faith, confident in the Power of Love.
When Jesus said, “never will I leave you or forsake you,” He meant that with every fiber of His Holy Being. We are Never Forsaken. Hallelujah! The grave could not hold the king.
“The Earth trembled
and the tomb began to shake,
and like lightening
from Heaven the stone was rolled away.
And as dead man
the guards they all stood there in fright
As the power of love
displayed its might
Then suddenly a melody
filled the air
Riding wings of wind,
it was everywhere
The words all creation
had been longing to hear
The sweet sound of victory,
so loud and clear.
Arise, my love.
Arise, my love.
The grave no longer has a hold on you.
No more death’s sting
no more suffering
Sin, where are your shackles?
Death, where is your sting?
Hell has been defeated.
The grave could not hold the king.”
Arise My Love by Newsong
Art Source: unknown