By Pastor Vinnie Cappetta
"From Feeling Forsaken to Confidently Trusting"
I remember it like it was yesterday. My world had come crashing down on top of me and I felt the weight of the rubble. It was dark, lonely, and greatly disturbing. I didn’t know where God was, and I blamed him for the whole mess. I guess that is why the following words stood out to me… they are words that speak about how we can move from feeling forsaken to confidently trusting in God.
Many theologians declare that God cannot be absent from creation or creature without both ceasing to exist. Trying to convince the broken and empty-hearted of this truth is not an easy task. Why did both the author of Psalms and Jesus feel forsaken and alone? The answer is not easy to find, especially for those who experience the absence of God more readily than they experience the presence of God. Jesus was able to move from that forsaken feeling to the confidence and trust of a child as He placed his life and his death fully in the care of God. And the Resurrection becomes the final proof that God can be trusted. Jesus' journey from that forsaken feeling to confident trust gives hope to us in our times of loneliness and fear of being forsaken. If the theologians are right and God never does forsake us, we can remind ourselves frequently of God's presence. Establishing a way of life that intentionally makes us present to God is one way of removing the feeling of God's absence. Regular times of daily prayer and regular times of corporate worship offer opportunities to establish a relationship of companionship with the One who made us and loves us. If the theologians are wrong and God does indeed become distant and absent, our response will be the same as we call upon God to rescue us from our aloneness, confident that the One who always responds in love and wisdom will restore our sense of companionship. The biblical witness and the witness of saints who have gone before us testify that God does not leave us alone. Even the apparent final absence of death is not a plunge into darkness but a movement into the light of ultimate companionship with God. So the words of Jesus become our own, "Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit" (Luke 23:46). -Rueben P. Job
Just so I don’t leave you hanging, I want you to know that I no longer blame God for what happened to me. As I started to encounter scripture for the first time in my young life, I started to feel God’s presence. I started to see that He cared for me and my loneliness. He reached down and pulled me out of that dark hole and gave me a firm place to stand.
I haven’t shared my testimony with Crossroad’s Community Church since 2006. On December 11th, when it comes my turn to preach, I plan to go into more detail about how God took me from feeling forsaken to confidently trusting in him. If you have friends who need to hear the gospel or are going through some tough times, plan to invite them to church with you on that day.