A friend had recently sent a passage from the Psalms to me and the verses immediately sprang to mind:
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?
That’s what I would be crying out from under my desk: How. Long?
There are times in our lives that God takes us on a path that makes no sense to us. We can see nothing. The way is not clear. And then things are resolved, and in retrospect – with the clear view of hindsight – we can see the orchestrations of His hand. I’ve been there. I’ve been through. I’ve seen.
But right now, I’m in the midst of a path I cannot discern – it’s the longest one He’s asked me to walk so far in this life. And it hurts. Every once in a while I get a glimpse of a miracle; a fleeting glance of something amazing revealed. But so many times, I just struggle along asking, “how long?” I write about this path as my desert. My journey of dryness. My discovery of dependence. My revelation of dying. Because there’s so much in me that needs to be stripped away. I need so much to be pared down to what Christ will reveal in me. So I can hear Him speak clearly. So I can become what I am meant to be.
God speaks in so many ways, and in my devotional this morning were words that were meant for a day such as this – a day with not good news:
That would fairly cover so many of the things I struggle with. The things I need to let go of. The friend that sent me the Psalm reminded me that our God is large enough to bear our cries and our laments. He is large enough to survive our inconsistencies. He is large enough to carry our frustrations – and oh, help me – even our anger. If we remember to come back to Him with thanksgiving in our heart. Because we do not thank Him or Praise Him because of what He give us or does for us (although we can and surely do), but simply because of who He is. And so we can say with David,
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me
I am trying. Trying and learning to counteract bad news, heartache, frustration, and anger with thanksgiving. This is a tough lesson for me. And yet, the truth of it is in there: it is harder to remain angry or sad with thanksgiving in your heart.
Psalm verses from Psalm 13 (ESV). Devotional excerpt from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young