Friday, December 16, 2011

Forsaken (Matthew 27:46)

Matthew 27:46 records one of the most heart-wrenching utterances ever given:

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Have you ever felt that way? I have. Some nights my prayers are amazing two-way conversations that lift me up and give me direction. Other nights, I feel like I need to get out the cleaning supplies to scrub my seemingly unheard prayers off the ceiling. Those nights feel so lonely. The worst is feeling like I've obviously done something wrong to merit being ignored by my Creator. I've come to understand, slowly, that that's a dangerous line of thought that only breeds unnecessary depression. God doesn't fall silent only when we've displeased Him, because he didn't send us to Earth just to get constant step-by-baby-step direction anyway. If He told us every answer, it wouldn't be much of a test now would it? Besides, if feeling forsaken was always a sign of displeasing God, then Matthew 27:46 wouldn't exist, because Christ certainly never displeased God--and yet He once felt forsaken also.

I believe C.S. Lewis put it really well in his preface to the Screwtape letters when he said:

"God wants us to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with our stumbles. The cause of the adversary is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do His will, looks around upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."

Moral of the story: it's okay to feel forsaken. Indeed, it's IMPORTANT to feel forsaken sometimes. The choice is then ours what we will do in our seemingly forsaken state, and God is hoping it is to not give up but to keep moving forward. Just remember, that though He may fall silent and withdraw for a time behind the "pavilion that covereth [His] hidng place" (D&C 121:1), He never truly forsakes us. After all, why did He send Christ to Gethsemane and to Golgotha? "That he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities" (Alma 7:12). Sometimes He succors us by knowing the right times to let go of our hands and let us walk on our own. Thus His withdrawl becomes in fact a divine grace and reassurance that He absolutely hasn't forsaken us, but is helping us through our infirmities.

My best,



  1. Funny, when I began to read this, I immediately thought of The Screwtape Letters and was going to go look up a quote, but you beat me to it. Another great, insightful post!

  2. I am not Mormon; I am not gay; I am not male. (I am a 45-year old, straight, heterosexual woman). However, I stumbled upon your blog. I respect people's beliefs. I would like to pose a question to you, and it is based on the experience a friend of mine recently had: when you find the woman you decide to marry, how will you justify living a lie with her (to yourself, to God)? Or, even if you find someone and choose to be honest with, how can you tell her she will never be your true love?

    I wish you only the best as you follow your heart, live your faith, and struggle to define yourself.

    Here is my friend's story (I understand if you choose not to post it, but I ask you to watch it for yourself):

  3. Anonymous,

    You've raised some really important points that I've thought a lot about. In fact they deserve a lot more than just a response comment, and I've already decided to base my next post on that subject. I watched the video and have no problem including it still in your comment. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it to keep the hyperlink for some reason, but people can still copy and paste the address. Her story is an important part of the continuing dialogue on this subject and her story particularly brings up some really important warnings that should be considered by everyone in our situation. Thank you for sharing it. Also, thank you for the kindness and respect for my faith you've shown in your post. Like I said, I plan on addressing your questions in depth in my next post. (Probably later tonight or tomorrow).


    Thanks for your kind comments, as always. I love C.S. Lewis! :)

    My best to both of you,


  4. Anonymous,

    I just finished that other post in response to your questions:


Please feel free to comment or leave questions. Just be aware that I moderate all comments before posting. I won't post things that are offensive. I will post controversial comments and questions so long as they aren't mean-spirited. I'd love to hear your comments and answer questions; just play nice! :)