1 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
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?
3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.
psalm 13: 1-6
for church this past sunday, i went to hear one of my best friends, mike, preach in virginia. i had made the decision to go last week after he sent out a message to some of our friends with the service times and a quick prayer request. i decided not to tell him i was coming, and instead would just surprise him after the service. on saturday night, he sent me a text message asking if it was ok for him to reference me and Jarronn in his sermon. i told him i didn't mind. and i didn't say anything about my plans to be there for the sermon.
the message was titled, "how to see in the dark." and it's focus was on how to maintain in times of deep sadness or trial. the text for the message was psalm 13 -- a short psalm with just six verses. in the psalm, david calls out to God, in the midst of his affliction. and i can't tell you how easily i can look at those words and take them as my own.
there are so many times when i ask God, "how long?" how long do i have to endure this? to feel this way? there are so many nights when i ask God to remove the "sorrow from my heart." to lift the weight. to give me understanding. or "light to my eyes." to give me some kind of sign that He's with me. an assurance that i'm where i'm supposed to be.
these are my words and wishes. they were also the words and wishes of david. a man of tremendous faith. like david, i struggle with the paradox of feeling abandoned by God and, at the same time, knowing that He's in control of my life. in knowing that His love is "unfailing." in knowing that this pain and sorrow is a part of that love. in knowing that as much as it all hurts, i can't deny that God has been "good to me" in so many ways.
feelings vs. faith.
i've only made it because the faith has proven to be a bit stronger than the feelings. that's proven to be just enough on tough days. and maybe even on some days, it's a lot stronger.
either way, i know how Jarronn and i lived our lives. with faith. faith that what happened to us was for a reason. that God was in control. that He brought us together. and if i trusted God through all of the happiness, what does it mean if i lose all trust when that happiness goes away?
mike did an amazing job with his sermon. i cried through a lot of it. as he retold the story of his wife (also my dear friend), ashley, singing at my wedding. about my phone call to him from the hospital. about him not wanting to believe the news. about me losing the husband i adored, after just 2 months. i cried as mike talked about being honest with God, like david was. he talked about crying out in desperation. about feeling separated from God. but also about reminding yourself of who God is. of what He's capable of. and the thanks He's worthy of.
you can watch the sermon online.