June 11, 2015 Riley

I have felt in my life a sense of loneliness.  Whether that be a feeling of distance between my Heavenly Father or from the people I care about.  There are many ways to feel alone and sometimes there is no explanation to the emptiness deep down within the walls of the soul.  That sense of abandonment or feeling of being forsaken is, in my opinion, the worst one.  The other times have explanations but this one is inexplicable.  During these moments there are a lot of “Why?” questions.  Why me?  Why am I alone?  Why is God not responding to my prayers?  When these answers do not come things become hard.  Jesus Christ Himself asked the same question in Mark 15:34

“and at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

This is the Son of God feeling a direct abandonment from His Father.  He knew and saw things we can only dream of.  This is a person who perfectly knew God, our Heavenly Father.  He had spoke with Him frequently and did as God asked perfectly.  He was “forsaken” in the most crucial and eternally defining moment, not only of His life but ours, on the cross.  Christ walked perfectly before God and did as He commanded.  He never erred in His speech, thoughts, actions, or feelings.  He felt the consequence of our sins, he was beaten, spit on, whipped, and completely disgraced.  Then He was crucified.  After all that He felt alone, abandoned, lonely, and forsaken by the most Loving Being we know today, our Father in Heaven.  Christ didn’t give up, He just left it up to God.  Don’t forget how it must of felt for God Himself to let Christ feel such abandonment, it was out of love for He knew the blessings that would follow.   Why should we feel blessed when we are forsaken?

This idea has been in the back of my mind for a while and I was reminded by a friend (you know who you are) of something an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ named Elder Jeffery R. Holland talked about in a conference.  It’s entitled “None Were With Him.”  He talks about how Christ had to suffer all that He did completely alone.  What Jesus accomplished was for our eternal happiness.  I say it’s a blessing to feel a fragment of abandonment because it helps us turn to our Savior and God.  It allows us to remember the sweet after tasting the bitter.  Now the thing of it is how can we even be alone?  We are never alone and absolutely cannot be entirely alone for one eternal reason,  Christ already suffered the purest form of being forsaken for no one can ever feel as He did.  He felt the loneliness for us, to always give us peace and comfort in times of “abandonment.”  I feel honored to feel an infinitesimal part of being “alone” because of what my Savior endured.  I am grateful I get a divine reminder of His grace.  Being forsaken is a shared journey already completed by Christ, all we need to do take up our cross and follow because He will provide us the strength to keep going.  His love will always surround us, it is impossible to be totally alone for Christ took that possibility away. Each time we feel alone it’s a way to learn a little bit more of how Christ felt.   I say embrace abandonment and suffer alongside our Savior, the rewards will surpass any sort of pain we temporarily feel.

“Dare to stand alone.” -President Thomas S. Monson