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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

BUT in Psalm 13

Dear God,
Will you keep forgetting me?
Why are you hiding from me?
Why do I have to struggle Every. Single. Day?
Why do I have to be sad?
Why do you favor losers who don’t care about you?
If you don’t do something I’m seriously going to die.
Then everyone who’s after me will be glad.

Ever had a journal entry like this? David did. This is my loose interpretation of his journal as recorded in Psalm 13. I read it this week, four honestly brutal verses followed by two humbling hopeful ones.

“How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? 
How long?….” Psalm 13:2 NIV

There are four “how longs” in just two verses. Because life is hard and the hard parts can be just so long it’s easy sometimes to believe that God does it for fun. Since He could stop our pain and doesn’t He must be glad. {We can be whiny babies.} When you get stuck there you aren’t alone, the “how long” theme is all over the Bible.

When I was reading this I found myself identifying with David’s complaints, journaling a good old whiny “high five David!” how long list. I tend to wrestle with inner thoughts and emotions. It doesn’t take much backtracking in this blog to see how proficient I am with thought wrestling.
     If thought wrestling were an Olympic event….well, I digress.
     Bottom line, I often wrestle with my thoughts.
     Thought wrestling wears me slick out. 

And so I rolled my eyes, dragged my thoughts back on target, and read on……

And here’s the thing, if you stick with the Scriptures long enough you will see that after God’s people struggle with the “how longs,” sometimes to the point of despair,
there is always a verse 5 and it starts with….. BUT.

“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.” 
Psalm 13:5-6 NIV

When I got to verse five in Psalm 13 I was reminded that in all the lists of how longs and misunderstanding and pain there is a place where I must choose to trust without answers. When David asks God to give light to his eyes in verse 3 it says it this way in the Amplified version, "lighten the eyes of my faith to behold your face in the pitch-like darkness." Sit there for just a minute with your biggest darkest "how long" issue before you and then read on. See it? 


I will choose to trust,
I will choose to rejoice,
I will choose to sing.

And God loves, saves, and shows goodness.

As always God’s part is more difficult. He is moving toward the impossible task of redeeming every single how long on our list and will not be thwarted even by our short-sighted understanding of His affection for us. Our how longs are part of a foreign heavenly process that makes us worthy for Kingdom work. The BUT is where we choose to cooperate with HIS plan for redemption. His.

May we not be shortsighted in the how longs BUT choose to trust and rejoice and yes, even sing.


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