Have you found yourself asking that question lately? How long will this pandemic last? How long will the stay at home orders last? How long before I can go back to work? How long before I can see my family and friends?
Or maybe your question goes beyond this pandemic.
How long will I suffer with anxiety and depression?
How long before I find a spouse?
How long will I have to wait for my prodigal child to return home?
In Psalm 13, David asks this question over and over again. “How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts? How long will my enemy triumph over me (Ps.13:1-2)?” It is the question of those who are desperate, of those who are tired, and of those who feel forgotten. Have you ever felt any of these feelings? Have you asked God, “How long?”
Trouble and trust coexist in the hearts of the men and women we meet in the Bible just as they often coexist in our own hearts. The Psalm urges us to bring our questions, our “How long?” to God. But it also encourages us to bring our trust. As David waits for God’s answer, he manages to cling to his belief that God is GOOD and that He is very much PRESENT. David says, “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 (Ps. 13:5-5).”
David expresses his feelings, his hurts, his confusion, but he also expresses a resolve to trust. He doesn’t diminish the struggle he is experiencing, but he lifts his eyes above his struggle and cries out to God to act on his behalf.
I believe our hope in the present and for the future is anchored in God’s goodness and faithfulness to us in the past. God has been faithful before, and he will be faithful again. He will never fail us.
What struggle are you facing? What is your “How long?” Whatever it may be, bring it to God. But also bring your trust. Remind yourself of God’s unfailing love to you in the past and place your trust in him today.