His dream died at twilight in the early autumn forest. The gift he knew was meant for him--the blessing he thought God promised him--bled out at the hands of another. His heart betrayed, not by his friend, but by his God. He wept hard tears for all the years of promise, expectation and now deep loss. Between sobs he screamed, Why do you give me stones and snakes when I ask for bread and fish, God? Why did you give my gift to another? Do you love me? Do you ever love me?
And he heard nothing--like God gone deaf.
What do we do when we feel betrayed by God? Where do we go when God is silent to our desperate call? How do we keep the faith? Can we be reassured that God still loves us? And what about the dream? Was it just our imagination or was it real?
On the night Jesus was betrayed, the Bible tells us, he broke bread and gave thanks.
(1 Corinthians 11:23-24a NIV). In the midst of his betrayal Jesus stopped to give thanks for his daily bread.
Then, "He broke it and said, 'This is my body, which is for you;'” (1 Corinthians 11:24b NIV). Jesus' willingly accepted his brokenness so that we might know wholeness through it.
And he ended, "'...do this in remembrance of me.'" We ought always remember Jesus' suffering for us--remember His broken body and His blood poured out for us.
The next day he spread out his arms--layed down his life, his ministry, his hope--on the cross. And before he died he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 NIV). In His betrayal, Jesus cried out to God.
In the two days that followed, God fell silent but He was not absent. He was working out His promised redemption through the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. From what was dead, God brought new life. Not the same life with breath but a new life with all of God's hope, promise and eternity set within Jesus. Through his death Jesus offers us new life. By his resurrection we receive the gift of eternal life.
Sometimes it is so difficult to think beyond our reality of brokenness and betrayal. God seems distant, unloving, even silent. In these times He calls us to offer up a sacrifice of praise--a difficult word of thanksgiving. He asks us to let our dreams die at His feet and trust His silence so that He might offer us greater gifts with eternal significance.
"For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name." (Hebrews 12:14-15 NIV).
Lord, it is never easy to watch our dreams die or tarry. We sometimes feel betrayed by you, wondering when you will offer us bread and fish instead of stones and snakes. In our crying out Lord, help us to willingly lay our dreams at your feet and offer our hard, sacrifice of praise. In your silence, some how reassure us that you will resurrect our dreams to new life with lasting worth. Amen.