Lord why do you reject me? Why do You hide Your face from me? From my youth,
I have been afflicted and near death. I suffer Your horrors; I am desperate. Your wrath sweeps over me; Your terrors destroy me. They surround me like water all day long; they close in on me from every side. You have distanced loved one and neighbor from me; darkness is my only friend. Ps. 88:14-18
Have you ever been there? You know, that place where nobody seems to care, where you follow God to places nobody wants to go, do things that nobody wants to do, and end up feeling that you are walking alone. Many today teach of God’s grace, mercy, love, and His benefits. Those are all true, but sometimes God must take us to dark and lonely places. You must go to those places where you are uncomfortable and out of your element. I have found in my journey, it is during those difficult times that our Christian character is built. Like the psalmist I too have asked, “Why do you hide your face from me?”
Honestly, the Christian walk is not one that is intended to be comfortable. Sometimes, we must do things for no other reason, other than God has called us to go. It is during those times, through obedience, that we learn that God’s grace is sufficient. Sometimes, I cry out asking why God has forsaken me. Sometimes I question whether the sacrifice is worth the effort. Then I’m reminded of a Savior who took on sin even though He knew no sin. He paid a ransom that He did not owe. So yes, it is all worth it!
Sometimes there seems to be no answer. The situation seems hopeless and I begin to feel helpless. That is when I must lean even more on my only hope, the only one who is totally trustworthy. God is my strength, my only hope, and my strong-tower. He makes a way when there is no way. For me, that is what it means to be a Christian! A deacon at a church I once attended said, “I got all my eggs in God’s basket.” That statement sums it up. Either we are all in with our Christian walk or we are playing church. A mature believer knows there is no other pathway. The choice is Jesus or the world. If it is Jesus, then the road becomes lonely and you begin to understand what a fair-weather friend is. Sometimes, darkness seems to be your only friend.
Sometimes, when the road is long and the journey is rough, we must stop and focus on the only hope. As the old hymn says, “My hope rests on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness; on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” Sometimes, it takes focus on not what God will do for you, but rather on what He has already done. The battles are rough, the road is often long, but the victory is sweet. And that victory, it has been won. You can’t lose. You will never be defeated if your fight is for God and His righteousness. Sometimes, you must remember why you are in the battle.