How Long?

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We live in a time where we can find answers to our questions almost immediately with a simple click of a button or a voice command to a digital assistant. Businesses have 24/7 online support where we can call or text for immediate one-on-one assistance. We can even order coffee before leaving our house and pick it up on the way to work without waiting in line. We’ve become a culture that isn’t accustomed to waiting for anything. When we have a question, we want answers right away. When we face problems, we want a solution immediately. But when our problems become bigger than ourselves; when we face something that Google or Siri can’t fix, our self-entitlement is immediately stripped away, and we are grounded with the reality that we are at the mercy of God. If you read the Psalms, you’ll see that David found himself in that place quite often. He found himself in need of an answer; in need of deliverance immediately, but was powerless to do anything in his strength. In Psalms, chapter 13, verses 1 and 2, he writes: 

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”

As I read those verses, I imagine David lamenting not for hours or even days. I imagine weeks or maybe even months of emotional and psychological distress. I can almost feel the depression in his heart growing after crying out to God for days on end without deliverance. I don’t doubt David’s faith in believing that God hears his prayers and will come to his aid eventually. But without knowing when, all David could do was wait and cry out to the Lord. Have you ever been in that place? Has something ever overtaken you that was much bigger than yourself, requiring you to depend solely on the deliverance of the Lord? If you have, you might be able to relate to David. You might have wrestled with your thoughts and have felt sorrow in your heart. You may have questioned whether God would ever deliver you from your situation. If you find yourself in that place now, I encourage you to do what David did. Continue to cry out to him. Keep crying out to him until he answers your prayer. Have faith that he will, and stand firm. 


I remember watching an insulin commercial where professional musician, B.B. King, says, “I don’t like to wait”. Well, that is something he and I have in common. I suspect everyone has that in common with B.B. King. No one likes to wait. But there are times when we must. The key is to not lose heart. The key is to have faith and to persevere. No one likes to wait, just like no one likes to feel pain. But it rains on everyone; the just and the unjust alike. During those times, believers know that God is the answer. He is good and he has our best interest at heart. We are in his hands. Hopefully, we will be able to get beyond what David wrote. Hopefully, we will learn not to wrestle with our thoughts or allow sorrow to overtake us. Hopefully, we will surrender the outcome to the Lord and trust him.