Those who believe in God cannot fail to notice his constant proximity and companionship in their daily lives. In fact, it is impossible for them to run away from him even if they ever wanted to. “Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?”, asked David who felt so overwhelmed by the all-seeing God. (Psalm 139:7) God himself has told his people that he will never leave them or forsake them. (Hebrews 13:5) Particularly in the day of trouble, God has invited his people to call upon him and he has promised to deliver them. (Psalm 50:15)
In spite of all these assurances, however, there comes a moment when we feel that we are in deep trouble for no fault of ours, but God is not at hand. He seems to be somewhere far away from us, perhaps turning his glance away from the scene, not responsive to our prayers, not visibly using his powers to protect us. Why the God of love should allow hate, injustice, violence, sorrow, and disaster in this world, is a question that has always left people baffled.
That is why the same David in another of his psalms had to pray, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out but you do not answer.” (Psalm 22:1-2) David’s prayer takes the form of a complaint that comes out of his anguish. It is a cry that gives vent to his bitter agony.
But David was not making a case for himself. He had a vision of Jesus before him and so he could end Psalm 22 on a greatly optimistic and victorious note. His prophecy was fulfilled when Lord Jesus, as he was dying on the cross, uttered exactly the same cry in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) The people around him did not understand him, while in fact he was praying on behalf of all humanity.
Jesus’ prayer did not go unanswered. It resulted in the gift of salvation for all humanity. God has not forsaken anyone. Through Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection, God has been coming closer to us all and he is always near us.