“Long enough, God— you’ve ignored me long enough. I’ve looked at the back of your head long enough. Long enough I’ve carried this ton of trouble, lived with a stomach full of pain. Long enough my arrogant enemies have looked down their noses at me. Take a good look at me, God, my God; I want to look life in the eye, So no enemy can get the best of me or laugh when I fall on my face. I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms— I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers.’ Psalm 13:1-6 (MSG)
Have you ever felt alone and abandoned by God? If so, you’re in good company. David, a man after God’s own heart, felt alone and abandoned by God and wrote down his prayer. We have the words of that prayer in Psalm 13. In six concise poetic verses, David pours out the misery of his soul to God and wonders “Where are You?”
Every day David was wrestling inwardly with his distressing situation. The Scripture doesn’t tell us the circumstances of his distress, but we know he felt defeated and overcome. David was so overwhelmed by his thoughts and sadness that he felt his end had come. God was nowhere to be found. His enemies had overcome him. His death was certain.
How long…David asks four times…will God wait before answering his prayer and responding to his need. Would this go on indefinitely? Was there an end to the misery he was suffering? Would God bring any consolation to him? Where are you God?
Have you ever felt like that? Perhaps you’re wrestling with a personal problem—an issue of character or a sin habit—that seems to have the upper hand. Maybe you have a family member who is going through an emotional or physical crisis. Sometimes relationships are strained to the point of breaking and it has a devastating effect on each party? How long will you suffer? Where is help when you need it? Where are you God?
All of us have suffered from crises like these. We’ve felt alone and abandoned by God. But not all of us respond like David. In the midst of his suffering, he cried out in prayer calling upon the God who is “not there” trusting in God’s unfailing love and unquestionable goodness. David remembered: all that God has done, God can still do. Even in the middle of his crisis, David turned to God in faith, in trust, and in prayer.
Do you need to pray Psalm 13 today? Are you facing a personal problem where God seems distant? Is there a loved one suffering from an emotional or physical situation that appears beyond God’s presence and power? How about a relationship strained to the breaking point? Give God your heart in bold honesty. Tell God how you feel in all of its raw truth. But remember God’s love and his help, too. God may seem absent, but he is near…ready to listen and receive you.
Help, Lord, I know you’re here!
Scott Corwin, Pastor