by Joelle Jensen
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.Psalm 22:1-2 ESV
It was 4 am as I sat up in bed. I could feel the familiar wave of heat slowly rest on my chest and I knew what was about to happen next. My heart rate slowly began to climb higher and higher until I felt like I was sprinting down the street at my fastest pace. 120. 130. 140. 160 beats per minute. I woke up my husband to tell him my heart was racing. Again.
Fear gripped me. What was happening to me? Was I going to make it through this episode, or this time was my heart going to beat so fast that it completely stopped? Where is God? Why has He abandoned me?! I know He sees what I am going through, yet it feels like He is choosing to sit back and do nothing to change my situation. I felt like my prayers weren’t making it past the ceiling much less into the throne room of heaven.
All of us have been there. We have all suffered loss in some way or walked through a difficult season that we weren’t sure we would have what it took to make it through. Perhaps you find yourself there right now.
Psalm 22 feels very relatable as David cries out from a place of despair. But this Psalm isn’t actually about David. It’s a prophetic Psalm about what Jesus felt and endured on the cross. You may recall that the opening line is the same words Jesus used as He hung on the cross, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”
I endured episodes of my heart racing in the middle of the night for over two months. I realized that I would not make it through this battle unless I knew God was walking with me. If I truly knew He was with me, I knew I would not only be ok, but I would have peace in the storm. More than ever, I made sure I was in the Word every day and spending time in prayer. Things began to change. It started on the inside and then my physical body followed.
Friend, you are not forsaken. You are not alone. You are not fighting a battle that has not already been won by the blood of Jesus. Though you may even walk through a valley of death, you have nothing to fear. He is with you.
As Jesus hung on the cross feeling forsaken and rejected by His Father, He was paving the way for you and I to say with confidence the very next chapter in Psalms:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.Psalm 23 KJV
Joelle Jensen is the founder of First Love Ministries, an organization that gives women tools to live confidently in Christ. Her heart is to challenge and equip women to encounter Jesus in their everyday lives. In a world where consumerism has invaded even our Christianity, she encourages women to take ownership of their walks with God and truly seek Jesus as their First Love. She does this through Encounter Conferences and online teachings. Joelle and her husband, Samuel, currently live with their four kids in Central Florida.