How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Psalm 13:2
Young David achieves national fame after slaying the giant Goliath and causing the Philistine army to retreat (1 Samuel 17). However, David’s joy doesn’t last long. Jealousy turns King Saul murderous, forcing David to flee (1 Samuel 19). David possibly writes Psalm 13 during a decade of running from King Saul. David doesn’t know he has years to go in this heartbreaking season of hiding when he asks, “How long?” David doesn’t hold back any emotion. Over and over, he turns toward God and, without hesitation and with gut-wrenching honesty, cries, “Where are you? How long must this go on?”
We suffer deep and real battles today. We don’t know what “mile marker” we’re at in our suffering. Like David, we are worn out from waiting as we face COVID, cancer, fractured friendships, crumbling marriages, extended job searches, split families and racial tensions.
We start our lament by bringing the depths of our despair to the Lord. We will not stay in the depths as we move into the “Ask” and “Trust” phases, but we must start with complete honesty for where we are right now. We can’t just dump our troubles and walk away. Power comes through God’s Spirit as we sit in the pain just long enough to get from the depths of our souls to the feet of our Lord.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
In your journal or mobile device, begin to form a personal prayer of lament. Start with complaint by taking time to finish this sentence honestly. “God, how long___________?.” Think through current struggles— personal, familial, communal, national or global. Focus on one or two and be raw and real with God.
NEW TESTAMENT READING PLAN
Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.
Today’s reading is Mark 9.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.