How Long?

“Are we there yet?” — The mantra of the summer road trip.

I know I’m guilty of showing my impatience. Wishing the time away for that special moment I’ve been waiting for. But what have I missed? What has passed me by while looking so far ahead?

I’m sure you’ve also heard this motto: “Life’s a journey, not a destination”. Yes, but how do you deal with the potholes and detours and “check engine” light?

Psalm 13 speaks of another kind of waiting, longing. Four times in the first two verses Davids asks, “How long?” Pleading for God’s help. Agonizing over what seems to be abandonment. Then it’s amazing how quickly David gets to verse 5: “But…” He quickly turns to trust, rejoice, and have hope.

He knows his God will answer. He is loved by God with an everlasting love. You are loved. Our soul needs to know we are loved. Matthew Henry says it so well:

“Nothing is more killing to a soul than the want of God’s favor; nothing more reviving than the return of it.”

To be heard by God, and answered, is (should be) very humbling. The creator of all that is, listens. To me, to you. What a cause for great rejoicing! But for how long? The well-known band U2 recorded a song 40, which is loosely based on the following verses:

“I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.” Psalms 40:1–3 NLT

The end of the song repeats the question “how long, to sing this song?” Yes, how long?

“I will sing of the LORD’s unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulness.” Psalms 89:1 NLT

Where is your hope?

David trusted/loved/feared/honored/remembered/worshiped God. But I’m sure there must’ve been times, when being chased and hunted by Saul, that he thought, “OK, I’ve had enough. You win. I give up.” There were even times when David had the chance to “end” all the chasing and hunting. But He would not harm the Lord’s anointed one. He would wait. Continue reading

Where Can I Go?

Do you ever feel that you’re drifting along in this life journey? The worries and storms of life remain in crisp focus, while you don’t even notice that you’re still safely in the boat. Maybe the boat you’re in is even anchored securely, yet the waves keep crashing over the sides and soaking you to the skin; the salt water tasting awfully like the tears you cry. Even at the harbor, you can’t help but notice that your little dinghy doesn’t match up to the other great sailing vessels at port.

Really, whatever kind of craft you have, it’s important to know that ultimately, you’re safely in the Loving Father’s hands. The psalmist praises God for His ever-presence in Psalm 139:7-10.

I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence! 

If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there. 

If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 

even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me. (NLT)

If you find you’re fleeing or just at the mercy of a tempest you didn’t ask for, you can never be too far from God’s grasp. You can be sure that He has you firmly. He has promised to never leave you, nor forsake you. Knowing that God is in control and He is trustworthy will renew your strength. I’m encouraged by that in the song by Kari Jobe called “I Am Not Alone”:

When I walk through deep waters
I know that You will be with me
When I’m standing in the fire
I will not be overcome
Through the valley of the shadow
I will not fear

I am not alone, I am not alone
You will go before me, You will never leave me

So where will you go? Hopefully you will choose to go with God. And if you choose that, wherever you go, you’ll also go with God’s love.