Psalm 22 (Psalms on the Trail)

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? Psalm 22:1

“My God, my God why have your forsaken me?

Why are you so far from helping me,

from the words of my groaning.”  Psalm 22:1

These are the remains of an old lock house near Hancock, MD .  The tenant who lived here would have tended the lock at all hours so barges traversing the canal, pulled by mules, could come and go with their cargo.  Did he feel forsaken when the railroads came through and took business with their devastating speed and noise?  What did his family mourn as they packed up their things and moved on?   And did they feel forsaken by God in the midst of such economic change?  But getting more personal, who among us has not asked “why”?  Who among us has not felt help has abandoned us?  Who among us has not groaned?  We are told Jesus quoted this psalm from the torture of the cross.  My “whys” cannot be compared to his, but many have told me that I must read the whole psalm.  I beg you to do that too.   Herein lies a love story that will not let go in the face of the “whys,” a faith that still trusts in the face of death, a hope that focuses on the future even while being tortured in the present.  Jesus has modeled a way of expressing love and trust in God when all seems lost:  ask the “why” questions and don’t let go.


1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?   When was the last time you asked God, “Why?”

2. Or read all of Psalm 22 to discover how this verse fits into the psalm.

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that illustrates this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s verse:  Psalm 23: 1-3

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.