“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” — “My God, my God, why have You abandoned Me?” Mark 15:34
One of the last phrases Jesus spoke from the Cross. One of the things I’m meditating on during Lent, that I’d like to invite you to do as well.
There are things in this world that are out of our control.
Things that seem to come out of nowhere. Things that turn our lives upside down. Things that frighten us. Worry us. Keep us up in the middle of the night.
That lack of control is something that unites all of us. Something that all the money in the world can’t change. That can bring any person to their knees in despair.
Reading Jesus’ words on the Cross, in addition to feeling His anguish as He’s dying wash over you, I’m sure it also calls to mind a very vivid, very specific moment in time in your own life, perhaps distant, perhaps present, when you’ve felt a similar way. And that catch-your-breath feeling can come roaring back like it was only yesterday.
One thing that I’ve been trying to do recently, to kind of reawaken my prayer life, is to turn on Christian music, and listen to the lyrics. As sometimes, I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to surrender my heart in prayer. Because, let’s be honest – that involves actually feeling my emotions, and recalling things I should be sorry for.
So, music helps me feel that connection with Jesus in a tangible way that I can focus on.
Well today, I went to prayer for a very specific matter. And I decided that I wanted to focus on that utterance from Jesus on the Cross. “My God, why have You abandoned Me?” And the first song that came on made my eyes swell up with tears, and it was exactly the thing that I needed to hear. And I guess, I thought that perhaps, someone else might need to hear it too.
I’ll link the song here. And write the lyrics that really spoke to me below.
It’s called I Will Carry You, by Ellie Holcomb
I know you’re tired, I see it in your eyes
All that anxiety that rules your mind
I’ll be your shield when you don’t feel like
You’ve got strength enough to fight
I’ll stand by your side
I will carry you
Through your darkest night
When you’re terrified
I will carry you
When the waters rise
When your hope runs dry
I will carry you.
I can’t speak to everyone’s “breaking point moment,” but I do know from my own life, looking back at that season, I know full well from hindsight, that Jesus carrying me through it was the only way I did get through it.
There’s a common “Christian” clichè that goes, “God will not give you more than you can handle.” And I know, whenever that was said to me, it pissed me off. It made me so angry, thinking: How trivializing to what I’m going through. Especially when it feels like breathing is all you can do to stop the suffocating fear or suffering you’re enduring.
But I think that statement needs to be amended. God will not give you more than He can’t carry you through.
Doesn’t really roll off the tongue quite as well, but by George, we were not meant to suffer alone. That’s something this Lent, that I’m trying to really give significance to: and that’s the prolonged suffering of Jesus. And the why, behind it all.
Suffering, out of immeasurable love for me.
Suffering, to redeem us of our sins, so that we don’t have to.
Suffering, so that when we, also, go through suffering, we can align it with His, and know that He endured it first, and we are not alone.
There is nothing I can say, when the waters are raging and the waves are crashing in over the sides of the boat on all sides, to lessen that pain and that fear. I’m not going to pretend that there’s nothing to be afraid of, or diminish the distraught state of your heart. But what I can say, is that Jesus is with you in the boat.
He’s enduring it with you. You may not be able to see it right now, amongst all the waves and turmoil. Even Jesus on the cross, had that moment of anguish, feeling abandoned by God. But He’s keeping your boat afloat in ways we cannot understand or comprehend.
That’s what was on my heart to share tonight.
So, yes, a shorter post tonight. But I invite you to just listen to the song, close your eyes, and feel His strong and comforting Hand on your shoulder, beside you today, and always.
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