Anticipating Renewal: Close Your Eyes

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.”

Psalm 22:1-5

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? What is going on? Where are You? Why is all this happening around me?

In this season of drastic life changes and unexpected hardships, we are forced to endure and wait for something out of our control. You may have asked questions like these in frustration, despair, or confusion. 

Personally, I have been going through relational hardships with my family. At times, it can be uncomfortable when we are together because of past brokenness that has hardened our hearts. When I discovered that I had to go home for the semester, I was afraid. I didn’t want to be at home because of the pressure of my family situation. At home, I don’t know how to be myself, and I tend to isolate myself and build up the walls of my heart. That has been my situation and there are others going through even more difficult and serious struggles. 

Especially during this social distancing, it’s hard to find people that fully understand you and can be there for you. But Jesus knows how you feel and is always there for you. Today is Good Friday, the day we remember Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus suffered to the point where He too quoted Psalm 22, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani”. My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? He endured so much shame, disgrace, and overwhelming pain that we can only imagine the burden He was bearing. When I see that even Jesus asked that question to God, I’m reminded of the magnitude of His sacrifice. 

But the story doesn’t end there. The psalmist says, “To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.” I’m learning to trust God even more deeply during this time. I’ve been asking God for a heart of gentle love for my family, and each day I see small but significant changes in my family and my own heart. I trust that God knows exactly how to break down the walls in my life even though I can’t see a solution.

In the midst of despair, the psalmist knew to turn to God and trust Him, but what exactly does it look like to trust God with our whole hearts? Here is an interesting example that made me think more about what trust in God could look like.

I’ve been watching this anime about volleyball called Haikyuu!!. In this anime, there are a pair of main characters: Kageyama, a genius setter with natural talent, and Hinata, a spiker with raw athleticism but not much skill. If you don’t know much about volleyball, basically, a setter passes the ball to the spiker who then hits it over the net to score points. Hinata is also short, which causes him to struggle with the walls that opponents put up to block the spiker. To overcome Hinata’s disadvantages, the duo come up with a strategy where Hinata simply jumps and blindly spikes the air while Kageyama, in that precise moment, sets him a ball that perfectly aligns with his swing, resulting in a perfect spike and a scored point. During this combination attack, Hinata closes his eyes and has no idea what’s happening. If he opens his eyes, he gets distracted by his own perceptions and can’t properly spike even when the pass is on the spot. He simply has to 100% trust that Kageyama will send him the perfect ball and all he needs to do is swing his arm in front of him. Through this strategy, they even overcome the walls of blocks the opponent teams try to put up to stop them. Because Kageyama is a skilled genius, he is able to bring out 100% of the unskilled Hinata’s potential. “As long as I’m here, you’re invincible,” Kageyama says to Hinata. 

For all you volleyball players and non-players alike, Jesus chose you as His spiker. When He died on that cross for you He said, “as long as I’m here, you’re invincible.” Can we close our eyes, give up control, and trust Him to give us the perfect path through whatever we are going through? Our perfect God can bring the best 100% out of any of our messy situations. Surely, when we team up with Him, we won’t be put to shame. We can trust the One who overcame. God, we’re here and ready for You.

Written by Victor

Published by aaivuw

An Asian American family at the UW-Madison learning to follow Jesus and sharing his love in our community and beyond.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: