Even When It Hurts: April 1, 2021 (Maundy Thursday)

Even When It Hurts -- Lent 2021 Devotional Book

Read: Psalm 55

If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.
-Psalm 55:12-14

Being wronged by someone you love and trust is the ultimate betrayal. Psalm 55 offers us a glimpse into David’s fractured heart as he mourns over the betrayal by a close friend and confidante. In 21st century language, we could say he was beside himself. How could this friend do this to me? And why?

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, I gave myself time and permission to revisit a betrayal that occurred earlier in my life and had lain buried for decades.

As a young woman, I was repeatedly and violently assaulted by a man I loved. I ended the relationship abruptly after a life-threatening beating, and never took time to fully process my grief. And then I avoided talking about the assault for decades, not wanting to be stigmatized.

Last spring, I unpacked and revisited every detail of that long-ago relationship, from my long history with the abuser to the day I finally left (it’s amazing how clear your memory can be, even about events that occurred decades earlier). Although I didn’t feel the physical pain that I endured in the assault, I felt the emotional pain again as if the event had just happened.

It was the ultimate betrayal.

I mourned.

Over the next couple of months, I dealt with denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. As I sat with the assault fresh in my mind, I ran through the gamut of emotions, from irritability to stress to anxiety to outright rage. This ushered in other negative emotions, including resentment and even hate.

I credit my faith walk and prayer life—and God’s sustaining hand—as the reason I have come through this long-buried trauma stronger and more committed to Him, and even more devoted to helping those less fortunate.

Tonight, on Maundy Thursday, let us remember Judas’s betrayal of Christ, and feel the heaviness of Christ’s heart (on Good Friday, Christ will be betrayed again, this time by Peter, Pontius Pilate, and the mob).

Like David in this psalm, Christ cried out in distress in the dark night of His soul. As do we in times of utter despair. Like David, ultimately Christ trusted God’s will in His life. As must we as we press on toward a glorious Easter.

Dear Lord, let us trust in You, morning, noon, and night. Amen.