1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken . 5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
Have you been there? Have you prayed and asked God – How long?
How long will your trials last?
How long until God answers your prayers?
How long must you wrestle with your thoughts?
How long must you suffer with sorrow?
How long will those who dislike you, get to enjoy your sufferings from afar?
None of us are immune from difficulties and heartache. All of us fall on hard times and have moments when we wonder…God – are you there? Do you see what’s happening to me?
David’s lament in Psalm 13 is raw. I have to be honest, you won’t find me praying a prayer like this in a prayer circle at church. Even if I am wondering why God seems to not be answering, I pray politely. You know what I mean?
I like to put a smile on and display strength in adversity. Maybe it’s the way I was raised or it’s my personality…but most likely – it’s my pride.
All of scripture is God-breathed. Psalm 13 is God’s very Word. And so as I meditated on this passage in preparation for this post, I let my self-righteous guard down…and allowed myself to ask this very question.
“How Long O Lord?”
How long will this trial hurt? How long will I wrestle with my thoughts? How long will I have this sorrow? How long Lord, until you remove this heartache?
Have you been put on hold on the phone…and waited…and waited…and waited. After waiting 30 minutes, don’t we all start to wonder if we’ve been forgotten.
We can feel those same feelings during a season of waiting on God.
And so we return to Psalm 13:5 & 6 and we see how David responds in the midst of waiting.
5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
I love how verse 5 begins…
BUT I —“But I have trusted in your steadfast love!”
God’s love is steadfast, never ending, and unconditional. It is in times of waiting that we need to reminded of all that God has already done for us. He sent his son, Jesus, as a baby – “Immanuel” God with us, who went to the cross and paid for all of our sins. That is enough to rest and rejoice in.
David goes from crying out to God — to singing in 6 short verses!
This reminds me of one of my favorite worship songs – 10,000 Reasons (by Matt Redman).
The first stanza says:
The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes
Oh friends, whatever passes, whatever lies before us – may we be singing when the evening comes!
Stanza 2 says:
You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find
Yes! He is rich in love and for all His goodness, we will keep on singing!
Stanza 3 says:
And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore
As we ask God “how long?”, may we simultaneously still sing His praise unending.
10,000 years and then forevermore.
Walk with the King,
Are you in a season of asking the Lord, “How Long?”
How can you still praise Him in the midst of your trials today?