How Long O Lord?
Make no mistake, life is crazy and uncertain right now. It is pretty scary to look at the news and hear the latest new cases and death toll numbers. It is daunting when your first-quarter investment statement arrives. Ouch! It is frightening when family and friends are laid off, when businesses close, when lines form to only let so many into a grocery store, and when you get let in shelves are picked over or bare! Yes, make no mistake, this is not the life in America we are all accustomed to!
King David could relate! He was minding his own business, tending his sheep, doing a job he was familiar with and was skilled at, when Samuel came along looking for "the one" God had chosen to be the next king of Israel. David was anointed king that day which started a whole series of events that made his life crazy and uncertain!
David survived multiple assassination attempts by Saul (1 Samuel 19). He had to feign insanity to find safety in enemy territory (1 Samuel 21:12-13). He was homeless and on the constant move (1 Samuel 23:13-14). His friends were killed for aiding him (1 Samuel 22:17). He had marital difficulties (2 Samuel 6:16), committed murder to cover up adultery (2 Samuel 11), and lost an infant son (2 Samuel 12). He had an adult son commit a coup and had to flee for his life (2 Samuel 15). And these are just the fringe events swirling around him while trying to rule a country and go about the kingly business of conquest, land management, urban development, and policing! Make no mistake, this was not the life David had been accustomed to in the sheep pastures!
Psalm 13 gives a glimpse of this man, David, who God called a "man after [His] own heart" (Acts 13:22). In Psalm 13: 1-4, David is pouring out his anguish, his fear, he's overwhelmed. You could even say he is whining! But he knows his God, is transparent and honest with his God, and fully unburdens. But he doesn’t stop there. He ends the Psalm, coming full circle back to God's unfailing love and salvation and concludes by proclaiming, "I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me."
Here’s my 2020 “coronavirus” version of Psalm 13:
How long, O Lord? Will you leave us in COVID-19 forever?
How long will you hide your face and leave us in this pandemic?
How long must I wrestle with my circular thinking, with fear and uncertainty,
and every day hear rising death tolls and increased financial hardships?
How long will COVID-19 control my choices and isolate me from loved ones?
Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.
Give me encouragement and keep me steady,
or I will give up and lose heart, and Satan will win.
He will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love! My heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me!
When we are struggling in life, it is good to pour out our worries to God in prayer, and plead with him for reassurance. But don't stop there. Satan can triumph over us we don't look to God! We must choose to trust, to rejoice, to sing with David, “God has been good to me!”
Take time for gratitude today. Make a point of intentionally looking for God's goodness. It's there!