—Wes Tubel, Executive Director,
Hope Couseling Services
I love the psalms. One reason is that they put words on our experiences, and teach us ways to cry out to the Lord. And there is this God-given balance of being both specific enough about our struggles, but broad enough for you and me to fill in our own particular details.
I have routinely been meditating on Psalm 13 recently. David is in anguish and it seems like the Lord is silent to his pleas.
13:1-2 Honest questions
1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
David has been wrestling with God in prayer, asking him to intervene in his troubles, but the Lord seems silent. Notice the interplay between the spiritual, personal, and circumstantial elements of David’s struggle. God seems to have turned away from David (spiritual). David seems to be his only source of help (personal). And enemies seem to be getting the upper hand (circumstantial).
Can you relate?
• How long will I experience this unending pain?
• How long will my wayward child refuse to turn back to God?
• How long will this besetting sin be part of my life?
• How long will I be stuck in this dead-end job?
• And perhaps the biggest question: how long until you return, O Lord, and make all things new?
13:3–4 A (seemingly) illogical plea
3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have a hard time continuing to pray when God seems silent. Yet David perseveres in prayer: “Consider and answer me, O LORD my God.”
But how do we have that kind of trust in God, especially when he seems silent?
13:5–6 A love that will not, cannot let us go
5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
Verse 5 is the pivot point of this psalm.
Circumstances have a way of unearthing all kinds of existential and spiritual crises. But David trusts the Lord because of the Lord’s steadfast love. This is one of the most profound promises of God. We routinely sing a song at Christ Community Church: O Love that Will Not Let Me Go. What kind of love is that? It is a committed, steadfast, covenantally faithful love of our God in Christ.
David underscores something powerful for us. Our circumstances are not our anchor. Our feelings are not our anchor. Our understanding of how God has or hasn’t answered us is not our anchor. Our anchor is that God loves us with a committed, steadfast love that will not, cannot let us go.
Would you join me in praying Psalm 13? We long for the day when Christ will return, and make all things new. And as we wait, we recognize that life is hard, and God can often feel silent. But he has promised to love us with a love that will not let us go. And that love makes all the difference.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus. And sustain us in your love as we wait.