Ps. 13:1-3, ESV, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 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?”
“How long, O Lord?” is a question many of us have asked of the Lord in seasons of doubt or pain. We ask this question because we live in a fallen world. Each one of us are sinners by nature and by choice. Not only are we often painfully aware of this, but we are also often reminded that God’s creation was put under a curse. When Adam disobeyed the explicit command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; the ensuing chaos resulted in every single person after him becoming a sinner by nature and by choice.
Right now, we are in the process of saying farewell to Summer and welcoming Fall and its activities. For many in our churches, this is the time of restarting our small groups, Awana and events like it. While the farewell of Summer can be hard for some, it is easier for others. Summer is often the time where I take on a life initiated hardship course, and learn about a little thing called “endurance.” Only, it isn’t so “easy” in its application. My homework in this course, each day finds myself drained and asking the question, “How long, O Lord?”
Like many others, I often ask my fair share of the question, “How long, Lord?” My asking this question isn’t necessarily geared toward one aspect of life. We can ask this question about a variety of things. For myself, it is geared toward disconnected friendships, delayed ministry opportunities, and health concerns. But for others, maybe it is the school of hardship found in our work situation or finding ourselves taunted by our past or something else entirely.
Endurance I’m discovering is the key to answering, “How long, O Lord?” As followers of Jesus Christ we all face trials, which remind ourselves of the need to depend on the Lord. There is no other way to live and breathe except by Jesus Christ. The Lord’s presence is my survival tool in every trial. He has a phenomenal track record of carrying me from point A to B. Trials bring the question, but time spent studying the Bible helps remind us of the answer – rather than the reason for challenging seasons of life. Even in the midst of seasons of pruning, the Lord continues to pour our His Spirit, increasing our faith, joy, and confidence in Him.
In the midst of asking, “How long, O Lord?” let’s fix our gaze on the Lord Jesus. My daily prayer is often, “Lord Jesus, my life is such a mess.” Even a month later, that’s what my prayers can sound like; yet, I know the prayers of the righteous avails much.
Focus on the love of God through Christ, my friends, for He is helping you through whatever difficult terrain you are walking through. Trial-walking is difficult, but it becomes doable by the grace of God since He is conforming us into the image of Christ and equipping us to serve Him through these trials.