Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? (Ps. 43:2)

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN REJECTED? Perhaps even the simple act of reading that sentence awakens sharp pain in your soul. Abandoned, betrayed, deserted—the wounds of rejection pierce the deepest places in us and attack us at the root of who we are. The courage to trust is rewarded with a broken spirit and shattered heart.

It’s this kind of wrenching pain that rings in the cry of the psalmist here. “Why have you rejected me?” he hurls out into the cosmos. If God hears, will He even care? I’m drowning in trouble. I’m crushed by oppression. I’m in mourning. And where is God in all of this?

That’s a good question with an even better answer. Where is God in our pain? He is in the middle of it. He is not a far-off God, but one who humbles himself and steps into our world. Yes, even steps into our pain.

Over the past week, we have repeatedly returned to the image of the cross. And there is no better symbol of how God deals with our pain. He shares it. He doesn’t reject us, but He willingly experienced the rejection of the cross to win our reconciliation. Awakening to this truth, the psalmist’s lament moves from the question “Why have you rejected me?” to the stubborn confidence of “Put your hope in God.”

Put your hope in God, who bears the weight of your pain.

Matt LeRoy is co-pastor of Love Chapel Hill, an eclectic church plant in downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is married and has twin boys.