How long Oh Lord?

Wednesday June 21, 2017

Psalm 13
How long will you forget me, LORD?
Forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long will I be left to my own wits,
Agony filling my heart?  Daily?
How long will my enemy keep defeating me?
Look at me!
Answer me, LORD my God!
Restore sight to my eyes!
Otherwise, I’ll sleep the sleep of death,
And my enemy will say, “I won!”
My foes will rejoice over my downfall.
But I have trusted in your faithful love.
My heart will rejoice in your salvation.
Yes, I will sing to the LORD
Because he has been good to me.

Psalm 13 is a psalm that speaks to us when things out of sync and when the bottom drops out. “How long, oh Lord?” Is a refrain we may find ourselves saying on any given day. 

It is more than the “are we there yet” chorus we hear from children while on a road trip.  It is a universal plea when time seems to take on a new dimension of crawling unbearably slowly by as we feel the bottom fall out from underneath us.

It happens when our ability to focus on anything else completely is greatly diminished by our suffering.  It is when the dominate emotion we are experiencing is sorrow and suffering.  The psalmist is not only suffering at the hands of enemies but also from the perceived absence of God.
“How long, Oh Lord.” is said when waiting for a diagnosis, it is said when we are waiting to see if our bodies will respond to treatment, it is said when we are working through trauma, it is said when we are grieving, it is said when we find ourselves in hostile situations with others.  We say “how long, oh Lord” when we do not know how long a season of turmoil with last.  So much of life is a moment of not knowing how long and that is why the Psalms of Lament are so compelling and helpful as people of faith.

Prayer:  God of desert places, we remember the moments that Christ suffered and know that we are not alone in our suffering.  Help us to be mindful of those in our world who have found themselves in a place of abandonment.  In your Holy name we pray, Amen.

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