Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 14, 2012
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 14, 2012
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed. Thank you
for forwarding this to your friends.
Honest to God
"From noon on, darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon. And about three
o'clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, 'Eli, Eli,
lema sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, my God, why
have you forsaken me?'"
Hour after agonizing hour went by. A strange and
eerie darkness fell over the land. As Christ
experienced the full pain of the curse of sin,
darkness pervaded the earth. When the earth was
at its darkest hour, Jesus cried out in despair,
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
(quoting Psalm 22:1 NIV)
Who among us has not experienced the darkness of
despair, loneliness, betrayal, torment, ridicule,
rejection, verbal and/or physical abuse, and
suffering? The darkest despair of all is feeling
forsaken and separated from God. Jesus, even Jesus,
cried out in despair.
I have listened to many suffering people cry out
similar heartfelt words. Sometimes people of faith
discourage this kind of spiritual honesty. "It's
not nice to question God," these well-meaning
comforters will say. "You need to have more faith,"
they remind us. Even Jesus felt forsaken in his
darkest moments before death. We too, can cry out
and feel safe with our questions and doubts.
My mother eventually lost her battle with cancer
after years of chemotherapy and radiation. When
she was on hourly morphine, she still struggled to
breathe without pain. I would often hold her and
rock her gently back and forth as she cried in pain.
"Why is God doing this to me?" she often asked. I
never knew what to say. I only know God cried with
us and provided strength for the moment, sometimes
one breath at a time. I had the privilege of being
with her when she died and will never forget her last
words. "God is calling my name," she struggled to say,
"and I'm not afraid." Throughout her illness, she had
been honest to God with her diagnosis and prognosis.
God honored her spiritual honesty and provided her
with the courage and faith she needed at the hour of
Jesus was honest to God on the cross. His words give
us courage to share our doubts, questions, and fears
with God. God can help us in our darkest hours when
we feel abandoned, forsaken, and forgotten. Be honest
to God. Your circumstances might not change, but you
will be spiritually empowered.
God, give us the spiritual honesty of Jesus as we
struggle with darkness in our lives. Give us spiritual
empowerment for one breath at a time. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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