Scripture Memorization Club Matthew 27:46

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I am so sick. The skin on my lips is peeling off because I have to breathe through my mouth, my sinuses are blocked, my head feels like there is an axe in it, my throat hurts, and I have a deep, rattling, painful cough that hurts my throat more. My body is aching,  my energy is completely gone.

For two days I could not speak, I could not care for my children, I could not bathe, I could do nothing but lay in bed with my eyes closed, drifting in and out of borderline hallucinogenic sleep and waiting until I could safely take the next round of fever reducer. I have been brought low.

Matthew 27:46New International Version (NIV)

46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

This is the scripture I choose to bring to our attention this week because it’s a phrase that has traveled through my own thoughts.

Instead of being sick this past weekend, I was supposed to be on a fasting retreat with a woman I met a few weeks ago who has the gift of healing. I was looking forward to the retreat as I’ve been feeling a bit spiritually low and the thought of a whole weekend of focused, intense time with God seemed to be just what the doctor ordered.

When Emiko (my new friend) invited me on the retreat I couldn’t believe my good fortune. “God is so good!”, I thought. “He has seen me and given me this amazing woman of faith and a retreat with her (plus another amazing healer/woman of faith) to boot! I am the luckiest girl in the world!” I even laughed at funny Holy Spirit because the retreat started on a Friday (which is a school day), and when I looked at the district calendar – LOW AND BEHOLD! – there was no school that Friday due to conferences. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

Then my son got sick. And I realized he was really sick. And this wasn’t going to be just a couple of day thing.

 “Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

‘Well, I DO have a friend with the gift of healing now. I’ll ask her to pray and to teach me to pray. She prayed for me the day we met and I experienced healing where I needed it. I’m sure God will heal my sick son by the weekend so I can go on this badly needed retreat!’

My new friend prayed, I prayed, about twenty people from my church prayed, friends prayed, family prayed. My son was still sick. We went to the doctor and got medicine – we did our due diligence. My son remained sick, and then my daughter came down.

“Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

I realized I wasn’t going to make the weekend. The children were too sick. ‘I don’t understand, Lord. Is my faith weak? Why didn’t you heal us?’ I received a kind email back from the woman organizing the retreat (I’d written to her and told her I was heart broken at not being able to go). She said, ‘You need to open your bible and find your peace that is beyond all understanding this instant!” And her reminder brought me peace. And I accepted my fate. And my kids remained sick, and then I became ill.

“Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

Lying there, in a feverish pitch, I thought about Jesus. I thought about how the only time we ever see him scared is in the garden before he goes to be crucified. Jesus kind of balked. He asked God to take the cup from Him if at all possible. Jesus knew what was about to happen and the thing that scared Him is He knew He was about to be separated from God, from Infinite Love. That was the one thing that terrified Jesus.

In a pool of sweat, I slithered out of bed and onto my knees and prayed. I prayed, not for health or for God to heal this sickness, but that God would never ever EVER let me be separated from Him. I prayed and I asked Holy Spirit to let me find Him in all of this sickness and feeling disconnected from Him and current disappointment. That, even in this, He and I would be together.

Then Holy Spirit, in His gentle way, reminded me about a conversation from a couple of months ago wherein Jesus made a statement to me. “I’m going to show you what it feels like to be Loved.” He said.  I liked the sound of it, but didn’t know how seriously to take Him. I’ve often said, ‘people say ‘I love you I love you’ but it doesn’t mean anything.’

Suddenly I thought of all of the people praying for me and my family. I thought of my beautiful children doing their best to care for themselves during my illness, the supplies dropped off on my porch – left with knocks on the door, but people making sure to be out to the street before it could be opened because the seriousness of exposure to this illness, the medicines delivered, the food delivered, the grace extended toward obligations I haven’t been able to meet, the text messages asking after my welfare, the phone messages of encouragement and more prayer.

And I realized, this is what it feels like to be Loved. I am completely helpless, with nothing to offer, and I am being cared for, my needs are being met, people are praying for me. . . and it’s because God is in us, Love is in us, and we in Him. God has made this happen for me.

Jesus Christ is the only person who will ever say,

“Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

in truth. The fact that HE said it means that not a single one of us ever have to. Really, ever can. We have been reconciled to God (who is INFINITE LOVE) – irrevocably, permanently. His arms are around us. It is only we who can alter that relationship.

And then it became OK to be sooooooo sick. And to miss the weekend. Because God is with me. He is showing me what it means to be Loved. I just wasn’t recognizing it.

I hope not one of you who read this can really relate to what I’m talking about this week. Because, if you can, you’re feeling really really bad. But, if you are in that state, know this – God is with you. And He is showing you, some way, somehow, what it means to be Loved.

Take this scripture and write it out. Stick it to your mirror or your fridge and meditate this week on what an amazing gift Jesus the Christ has given us. And stay healthy. And  Loved.

Be blessed.

2 thoughts on “Scripture Memorization Club Matthew 27:46

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