Today morning this verse leapt out at me.
For He has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and He has not hidden His face from Him, but has heard, when He cried to him. (Ps 22:24)
Or as the Message translation puts it –
He has never let you down, never looked the other way when you were being kicked around. He has never wandered off to do his own thing; he has been right there, listening. (Ps 22:24)
The last several months have been challenging. Nothing serious. Just me – wrestling with various issues and trying to make sense of certain people and issues, wondering what really God wanted me to do – I guess you could say I was going through an existential crisis of sorts.
One thing I learnt with absolute clarity through these months is that God NEVER despises my doubts and wrestlings. In fact, He delights to bring truth and settle foundations.
Others may trivialise your pain/ wrestlings but God never does. Others may distance themselves from you in your moments of weakness, but God enters into your pain and pours His strength into your emptiness and lack.
I don’t know where you are at (for that matter I don’t know where I am at) but today I know with certainty that God does not hide His face from us, but He offers us His right hand of fellowship and strength to lift us up and strongly support us.
Incidentally this is the Psalm Jesus quoted from on the cross. It begins ‘My God, my God why have you forsaken me.’ But it has this beautiful reminder midway, that God does not turn His face away from the afflicted one but hears his prayer.
It carries a beautiful promise –
The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! …(Ps 22:26)