How Long?

46 How long, Lord? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire? Psalm 89:46

The Psalmist asked a rhetorical question and it very well could have been a question that Christ would have asked on the cross.

As many of you know I went through Survival School as part of my Air Force training. A part of that training was a mock Prisoner of War camp. The training was intended to simulate what life could be like if you were ever captured by the “enemy.” This particular training was only supposed to last 24-48 hours, and quite probably closer to 24 hours. But throughout that training the guards and prison staff took away all clocks and put us in situations where we were made to believe that 1) it was not a training exercise at all and 2) we would be in that camp for much longer than 2 days. All the camp staff should have won Academy Awards for their persuasion and acting skills. We were there for only 24 hours (with a Oscar-worthy dramatic ending to it). None of us in the training had a clue how long we had been in the camp. My point to this long story is this: we knew deep down that we had to be other places in a few days when we entered the camp, but the events and prison staff persuaded us to believe otherwise.

I can’t pretend to know what the Son of God was thinking as He hung on the cross. He knew he was going to be in a better place in a little while but how long could the punishment and torture last? When He was in the midst of it, did He think it could go on for days or weeks? And why hadn’t God he Father shown Himself? How long would the wrath of God burn against Him?

We find ourselves in situations that we know probably won’t last long, but in the midst of them, we just don’t know because we may be dazed and confused. In that darkness on the cross, Jesus reached out to the Father.

Whether in good times or bad, it’s never a mistake to reach out to the Father.

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