To read Part 1, click here.
I’m a big fan of Psalms. Almost every emotion that I might have as I come before the Lord, one of the authors in the Psalms has felt the same way. It’s such a comfort to me to see the raw honesty of others as they seek Him, especially during a hard time. Last year, God really spoke to me through one specifically, Psalm 13. The words take me back to where I’m suppose to be, at the Father’s feet.
“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will You hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome her,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.”
Clinging to words like these in scripture can sometimes feel like your only safety net over an endless pit. “For He HAS been good to me.” It was true then, it is true now, and it will remain to be true.
For the next few weeks I’m going to dig into Psalm 13 with David and learn how God wants us to TRUST, REJOICE, and SING, even when we are going through a difficult time. For those friends who came along with me on the beach retreat in October, some of this post series is the same. But God is just continuing to use these verses in my life, and so I wanted to share here on my blog as well.
HOW LONG – FORGETTING THE GOOD
David starts out this Psalm asking God, four times, “how long?” But one thing that is easy to miss is what’s implied…the knowledge that eventually it will end, and God will deliver him. David knew, in faith, that God would be there for him, he just didn’t know when.
“How long will you forget me? Forever?” Have you ever felt forgotten or looked over? I have, for the longest time it was like a stab in the heart every time I saw a pregnant woman. I saw the blessing that should be mine as a woman passed by, and given to someone else. I felt forgotten, neglected and like God did not hear my prayers.
When you feel like God is not listening, it is easy to want to stop talking. “It’s easy to give up on dreams, give up on miracles, give up on promises. We lose heart, lose patience, lose faith. And like a slow leak it often happens without us even knowing it until our prayer life gets a flat.” (Mark Batterson) But that’s when it’s even more important that we keep seeking Him.
David turned to God with his complaint, just like Job, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah and many others did throughout the Bible. Often as we vent our anger with God to Him in our prayers, He will speak to our hearts and bring us comfort.
That is one of the things God has been teaching me during our hard time with infertility, that the most challenging thing and the most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open…keep praying and keep reading His Word. When you keep praying, you are helping to guard your heart from becoming bitter.
When you keep praying and keep reading, despite the heartache and anger towards God, He reminds you of His faithfulness in the past, and how He will remain faithful in the future. We remember David’s reign and his triumphs as king, but we often forget how long he waited to be king and how much affliction he experienced while he was waiting.
He knew when he was young that God was going to make him king, yet it didn’t happen until he was a grown man. At different points in his life everyone had left David, I mean everyone. Talk about feeling alone and forgotten, he’s been there! He was hunted by his own family (father-in-law); his own people (like Doeg the Edomite in Saul’s army); his covenant people of God; and threatened by enemies as he hid in a dry, desert wilderness. With every fiber of his being, David felt rejected and abandoned.
Being in the middle of this hard time, David forgot about all the good God had already done in his life. Situational amnesia is easy to develop. That’s one of the reasons God had His people build so many memorials throughout the Old Testament, like in Joshua 4 after they crossed the Jordan, when they piled stones on the shore. We forget His goodness so easily. How skewed is your memory? Do you only remember the bad, or do you remember the good too?
David was saying: “I just can’t go on!” I’ve been there too. Perhaps you’re there right now. If so, remember this: David was feeling those feelings too and took them to God.
When we feel like we can’t go on, we can still turn to God. Sometimes the hardest time to crack open my bible are the times when I need it the most. When you are struggling with getting into the Word, venture out of your comfort zone and read a book of the bible you haven’t yet, or hardly ever read. See what stories you can find about His faithfulness. Because….
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
And what is hope? Hope is waiting for some thing we do not yet have. And just like David reminds us, God is faithful, and He is good. He will come through.