‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?’ Psalm 22.1
These words are very familiar to us as it is this scripture with which Jesus identified when he suffered on the cross. In some way, by using similar words, many people have echoed this sentiment as they find themselves going through difficult times – ‘God, where are you?’
However, there is something else about these words that is important to catch; they are not just words of desperation but also words of intimacy. The words are not addressed to God, but to ‘My God’. It is this word ‘my’ that changes a desperate cry into something more intimate and personal. He is ‘our’ God, not in the sense of us possessing him but more in the sense of us belonging to him; we are identifying ourselves with him. Precisely because we make this identification we can hold on to the promise that comes later in the psalm, when the psalmist proclaims that the God in whom he trusts ‘has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.’ (v24)
At times you may feel the abandonment of God, but if you can call upon him as one to whom you belong, then you can begin to catch the certainty of his commitment to you.