Holy Saturday — Fourth Reading
“I did forsake you for a brief moment, but with great love will I take you back.”
It’s easy to think that God has abandoned us when trials come our way, or when our prayers are not answered. I don’t think I’ve ever outrightly blamed God or accused him of abandoning me, even when my mother was taken away from me. I was just 18 and she meant the world to me. For the years following that, I spiralled down to a dark place where I cherished solitude and relished sadness. I even got into love relationships rather quickly and easily. Yet I know that all this while, God had not abandoned me. He was, in fact, watching over me from a distance (as I had not yet known Him).
How I know this is because I could just as easily have sunk into depression; but thank God I didn’t, despite often being on the verge. You see, I come from a family that had a history with mental health issues. My dad suffered a couple of episodes when he’d lost his mind and to protect me from that, I was sent to live with my grandparents until I was seven. With that knowledge at the back of my mind, you can’t blame me for wondering when it would be my turn. I often wonder what it would take for my mind to snap. While I may not be able to explain exactly how, I believe that it is by the grace of God that I have been able to stay sane and not lose my mind even with every trial that has come my way. I certainly don’t think it was by my own sheer will of strength. God makes sure that I will be fine, and remain fine for as long as I live.
God will not abandon his people. Recall the time when Moses freed the Israelites from enslavement and brought them out of Egypt. Then again when they were in the desert, the Lord told Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you.” (Exodus 16:4) Later on when they complained again that there was no water to drink, God told Moses to “Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” (Exodus 17:6) With each trial and suffering that we experience, we need to learn to complain less and cling on to God’s promise and hope more; and trust that when the time is right, He will once again take us out of Egypt or part the Red Sea for us.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Cynthia Chew)
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, you who are ever faithful, show us in ways for us to know that you will never abandon us. Help us to “believe, help my unbelief!”
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for being faithful even when we are often unfaithful, always asking for a sign, or wallowing in our self-doubt and impatience.