I was talking to a friend last night at church about how he was doing since returning from our trip to Haiti. He, like many of us who went, has had a hard time readjusting to life here. He said, “In the first few days back, I kept trying to process the poverty and devastation that I saw there. It was overloading my mind and I couldn’t take it. I finally had to quit trying to process how people just like you and me live in that devastation and still get up, get dressed in a shirt and tie and go to work.”
He’s right. I’ve been to a lot of third world countries and seen poverty. Haiti was somehow different. I don’t know if it was the worst I’ve seen or that it just seemed like the worst because most people there seemed to have no hope. The unemployment rate is above 50% and the ones that do have jobs only make between $2 and $5 a day. Most of us make more in an hour than they will all week.
With hopelessness comes the thought that God has forgotten you. People here experience that. I know I have. You probably have to at some point in your life. If you are there right now, you’re not alone. Not everyone has been in your exact circumstance, but plenty have felt that they’ve been forsaken by God. Jesus felt that way too. When He was hanging on the cross, he cried out, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?”
I’ve never given much thought to Him saying that on the cross because I knew what was going to happen 3 days later. He wasn’t forsaken and neither are you. He had to go through that so that He could identify with us when we feel forsaken. I Peter 4:1 says, “Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like Him.” He knows what it’s like to think you’re alone in this world and to even be forgotten by God.
Since He knows what you’re feeling, He won’t leave you in that place. What I learned in my own life is that had I not gone through that time of thinking He had forgotten me, I couldn’t fully rely on Him now. Psalm 139:7 tells us that there is no where on this earth that we can go to get away from God’s presence. Even if you can’t feel or see God, He’s there with you in that dark place. He has not forgotten you. He has not forsaken you. Rest in the hope that He will bring you out of that valley and bring you into His marvelous light. He did it for Jesus. He did it for me. He will do it for you.