The Cross—Psalm 22: A Cry of Anguish and a Song of Praise—A Psalm of David Rob
Father, I feel like David in that it seems there is a great distance between my cries for freedom and Your deliverance. I pray day and night and see no answer, yet You are my Father and the Father to all who trust and follow Your Son.
My earthly father did not know You until the end of his days, yet You showed him mercy. He was stunned at the end of his life with Your kindness toward him and trusted You upon his death bed. He cried out to You and You adopted him. Yes, I will praise You for Your faithfulness!
As Your follower, I have been a reproach to my earthly family and an oddity to my fellow man. Behind my back they mocked, “He got religion when he was a loser and is now a religious fanatic.” They may think what they wish. I believe they, too, would follow Jesus if they had seen what I have seen. And I pray that they would see You in my life and in the life of my fellow believers. I pray they might understand the degree to which they are losing out and discover with us just how much You delight in them.
I am persuaded that You have known me before the womb. Your eye was upon me and Your hand protected me in the midst of my profound ignorance and rebellion.
You have been my God from my mother’s womb.
At one level, I know that You are not far from me when the pain in my body is intense, yet my fickle senses tempt me to think otherwise. Thoughts of abandonment try to bully me around. On some days they feel as though they might swallow me whole. Where is this pain leading me? How will I possibly keep it together if this continues? How will I cross the finish line if pain and pain meds reduce me to nothing? And then I recall:
You were poured out like water, and all Your bones were out of joint; Your heart became like wax; it was melted within You. Your strength was all dried up like a potsherd, and Your tongue cleaved to Your jaws; and You were laid in the dust of death. Dogs surrounded You; a band of evildoers encompassed You; they pierced Your hands and Your feet. You could count all Your bones. They stared at You; They divided Your garments among themselves, and for Your clothing they cast lots.
No, Lord, You are not far off; You are my help, hastening to my assistance. I have never experienced any temptation that You did not experience in full. You may deliver me by divine healing or the surgeon’s scalpel. Whatever You choose, save me from any result that would cause my life to detract from Your glory. In these weeks preceding my surgery, intervene as You please.
I aspire to proclaim the excellences of Your name to a skeptical world and church. I see that You and Paul the apostle envisioned a church that lights up the world. I see that we will all eventually stand in awe of You as history proves out that You never abandoned anyone who was afflicted nor desired to hide Your face from anyone.
I profess Your rights to rule in my life and in all creation. We will see the day when, like my father, the afflicted will be more than satisfied by Your kindness and mercy. We who could not keep our hearts alive in our own strength shall see that You will sustain our hearts forever!
All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will worship before You. For the kingdom is the Lord’s and He rules over the nations. All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship, all those who go down to the dust will bow before Him, even he who cannot keep his soul alive. Posterity will serve Him; it will be told of the Lord to the coming generation. They will come and will declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has performed it.
Father, I love You and thank You that You have never abandoned me. I am in awe of Your patience and kindness toward me. May this world see You through us who believe. May Your kingdom continue to come in increasing measure. Amen.