Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Psalm 13. At last.

Psalm 13.

Verse 1:
How long, O LORD?
Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

Have you ever felt like God has forgotten you? My immediate response to that question was "No, never." But then, I thought about it some more. I've never felt like God has forgotten me. I've been raised to know that that's impossible. But I have felt like He's forgotten to answer. I've prayed, and waited for the answer for days. When the days turned into weeks, and then months, and even years... it really did feel almost like He'd forgotten to answer. Like maybe that one prayer slipped by unnoticed. Have you ever felt that way?

David then asks God how long He'll hide His face from him. I've felt like God must surely be hiding his face from me. But when I really consider myself... God isn't hiding His face from me at all. Rather, I am putting things between Him and I, things that make it difficult, if not impossible to see Him. He has never turned away, and promises that He never will. And yet... haven't we all felt sometimes that God must be hiding from us?

Verse 2:
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

This is one that makes me wish I could say "I don't get it." I wish that I didn't know what david is talking about here... I wish I didn't know what it is like to "have sorrow in my heart" every day. But I do. And I've wrestled with my thoughts. Oh, how I've wrestled. Not as much recently, but it hasn't been so long that I've forgotten. Not even close to that long.

And when I was wrestling, when there was sorrow in my heart every day... it really did feel like my enemy, the enemy of my very soul, was triumphing over me. Have you ever felt that defeated?

Verses 3 & 4:
Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

Here is where this gets heavy. You can think whatever you want, but to me, this verse talks about suicide. I suspect that many people have wrestled with the idea. I know some who have given in to it. Who have yielded to the pressure, who have been unable to fight any longer. People who took steps to end their lives. Most of them were not successful. Most.

It seems hard to fathom that David, DAVID, wrestled with that temptation. Out of everyone we read about in the Bible, David seems so very close to God. He loves Him so intensely. Seeks Him earnestly. Clearly has an active, full relationship with Him. And in spite of that... he is wrestling with this?

If you are wrestling with those thoughts tonight - thoughts that maybe your life isn't worth living any longer - please, please don't stop reading here. You need to know something: God loves you. He has a plan for you. A good plan, a plan to bless you and give you hope for the future. There is help for you. Pray, ask God to bring you comfort. And please, reach out. There are so many ways to get assistance. You can call 911. Call or go to any emergency room. Call 1-800-273-TALK.

I end where David did. I have gone through the first four verses. I'm not referring only to going through them in study. I mean I have gone through them, in life. And now, I can say with David:

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.

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