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 him,” 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.
The psalmist cries out four times “how long”. He is greatly distressed from his impression that God has hidden His face from him and forsaken him. This feeling of separation causes him three things: sorrow, a feeling of weakness before his enemy, and the fear of death.
How do we deal with our despair? Do we grow impatient with God or do we fall on our knees before Him? When I grow impatient waiting for an answer from God and try to “fix it” myself, I experience more distress. I cared for my Mother the last three years of her life. One of the things she suffered from was dementia. I desperately wanted her to be her old self — my Mom. Nothing I tried could make that happen. God had to take me to the bottom of the pit before I gave up trying to make it right under my power. The minute I let go and gave it all to God, I received complete peace.
Maybe God uses these times to drive us to our knees so we rely on Him alone and deepen our relationship with our Father and Creator. It is very amazing that despair can draw us into a closer relationship with God rather than driving us away. In verses 5 and 6, the psalmist says, “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.” The psalmist reaffirms his trust in the LORD’s faithful love. His trust is not in himself, but in the God of the covenant who promised He would show faithful love to His people.
The GRC Children’s Ministry is also providing a family Lenten Devotional which is available here.
Note: Each day’s devotional is written by a different member of the GRC family.