"But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:9
Possibly within the first day of human existence, Adam and Eve had unraveled their faith and found themselves hiding in the dirt. Yet even in the most God-forsaken places, His presence is never absent. Whatever your depth of darkness, whether sin, loneliness, or grief...God is both willing and able to deliver you. He will uphold you by His righteous right hand. For although man may forsake God, God promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is with us always, even to the end of the age. It is worth restating, man can and often does forsake God, but God will never forsake His promises - for God cannot forsake Himself.
However, it is quite possible to find yourself in a situation where it seems God is dead. In that place, darkness surrounds us much like the scene at Golgotha. Even then, at Calvary, His love kept him nailed to a cross. However, His power necessitated the resurrection, for there is no comfort in a crucified God!
In a God-forsaken place, there is no joy, no warmth, no peace, no hope - for we are apart from the love of Christ. While nothing can now separate us from His love, there may be times when we feel hopelessly lost and abandoned. From the cross, Jesus cries the familiar earth-shattering and gut-wrenching cry of humanity: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” This is not a metaphor. He had to be forsaken in order for us to be forgiven. It was not for a moment, but for agonizing hours, even days, as he died a terrible death on a cross then was buried. Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God who took on all the weight of all our sin and shame. Make no mistake, Jesus was fully God and fully human. He had to be to reconcile us to one another and to Himself.
One can’t help but marvel at the incomprehensible, unconditional love displayed there. The crucifixion is the picture of what we have done to God, spit at, mocked, defiled, tortured, betrayed Him. When you look at the cross, it shamefully reminds us of how every sin we have committed was a stripe on his back, a thorn in His flesh, leaving Him pierced, bloody and bruised. At the same time, it is also a picture of how we have abused our God-given power and authority, given in Genesis 1, to terrorize one another.
God chose this manner to demonstrate his great love for us. Further, He descended into hell in order to overcome the powers of darkness (Ephesians 4:9, Acts 2:24, 1 Peter 3:19, Hosea 13:14). Colossians 2:15 clarifies that He did so in order to disarm the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross!
Part of the tragic existence of humanity is that God has become so invisible, intangible to our reality. This is why our relationship with Christ both necessitates and precipitates faith. Being a Christian means loving and serving God even when the world around you is crumbling. It requires faith strong enough to stand firm. Faith enough to scale a mountain, if/when instead of moving it aside, they laugh at your mustard seed faith. This is not impossible, because as faith is nurtured and watered over time, it will grow in direct proportion to the dirt in your life. So what is required in that midnight hour is to plant ourselves and trust the Son is coming - in fact, He has already risen. The truth may be that as you are cry out, "Where are you, Lord?" it is you rather than He that is hiding.
* I wrote this post during one of my darkest hours several years ago, but felt compelled to share it with someone today. Therefore, it may not be the most cohesive or make the most sense, but it was written from a place of pain and betrayal - a season which is still in the process of being redeemed. Be blessed.