Summary: Bad things happen to everyone...even christians. You can become synical and bitter or you can work at making things better.
Bad Things Happen
Where have you heard the first words of our scripture this morning? Jesus uses them doesn’t he?
How about you, have you said similar words or thoughts when things are not going right in life….how about when Everything is wrong?
When the baby dies, when a parent, or child or loved one dies. When our health fails. When there is war or a horrible storm.
Life isn’t fair. There is not real justice is there. Come on Gas prices, murders, fraud child abuse…You name it. BAD STUFF happens and we can feel so helpless.
People treat other people badly. It’s not right.
Maybe, I am just in a bad mood this morning, but it seems to be that nothing really changes. We sort of take it all for granted.
Some become cynical, I was talking to a young guy this week and he felt taken advantage of because his in-laws claimed he Grand Child as a tax deduction instead of him. Just because they lived with them almost all year, did not seem right to him. Perhaps he is not being objective of his situation.
We can get a real since of why me perspective and sometimes loose touch with reality. And some time is can be real pain and real loss that drives us to despair.
Now you can either get frustrated with that, or you can shrug it off. You can either become a bitter and cynical person, who gripes that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer; or you can accept reality and go on.
But what you cannot do, what is unacceptable, is to stuff down inside forever the feelings that go along with injustice with loss, with pain with unfairness in your life.
You have the choice of being bitter and gripping OR you can try to something to make it better. The feeling have to of some where because, no matter how hard you try they are going to come out in some way in your life.
So, let me help you with a little perspective: You can never think that bad things don’t happen to good people. You need to understand that it is not if they will happen but, when they will happen. That is just a fact of life in this world.
It is a law of nature and the laws of nature are almost never suspended for anybody. Not even for Christians.
Bad things happen to all kinds of good people. Bad things happen to everyone I know and I know a lot of good people.
But when they happen to you, or to someone close to you, what will you do with that? How will you speak and where will you take your complaint?
Do we have to just sit and take it?
We Christians have all the answers don’t we? We can spout them almost without thought.
Maybe we quote scripture perhaps the 23rd Psalm where we are reminded that God is with us and watching over us. Or what about some of the hymns, "What a fellowship, what a joy divine, safe and secure from all alarms."
But the main tactic we fall on is prayer, right? Pray about it. Put the problem in God’s hands. That makes us feel all better right? Pray , pray and pray some more, and get others to pray with us and for us…PRAY.
But what if nothing seems to happen. What if we feel like no one is hearing what we say? What if it is obvious that our prayers are not helping at all?
When it feels like our prayers bounce off the ceiling, we are just talking to hear ourselves talk. What if prayer feels like my phone call the other day, I was talking to Renee on the cell and after a couple of minutes I expected a response…nothing. Hello Hello can you hear me now?
Nothing. Cut off. I haven’t figured out yet whether we actually lost our connection or if she got tired of listening and just hung up.
What if it seems like heaven itself cuts you off. The ultimate cutoff is to pray and feel no response, no answer, not even a presence.
That brings us to the setting of our scripture this morning. It is a cry to God, it is a call in anguish and loss. It is about the feeling of being abandoned that can be felt just as easily to day as it did thousands of years ago. For me it felt uncomfortably familure and I remember the times of torment in my life. It is a song of lament. Which is a type of psalm where the writer makes a complaint to states a need to God?
Psalm 22 starts with: 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 by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.