I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands
and my soul refused to be comforted. (Ps 77:1-2)
We are all familiar with these dark nights in which we cry out to the Lord but seem to receive not a word in return. Our distress deepens with the silence but moreover, our thoughts return to times of blessing. Why does God bless us here and leave us in distress there? These thoughts drive the psalmist to say:
I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint.
You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days, the years of long ago;
I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart mused and my spirit inquired: “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again?” (vv 3-7)
Our greatest difficulty comes in the limited time span of our thoughts. We only see tomorrow and the end of our days but God looks into eternity. Our travails which seem unending and insurmountable to us are but a second in His vision. Our difficulty in facing the struggles of today is our inability to look beyond, to know a time when it will be all blessing and no sorrow. Can we look that far?
Grace and peace to you..
image by pshmell
Though we pride ourselves as otherwise, our perspective is limited. A few moments of darkness can cause despair and test our faith. To see the Lord hanging upon the cross was certainly one of those moments. To see Jesus release His final breath in the gloom must have sent minds racing. The body releases adrenalin to fuel our escape from fear and our heart races. The mind must quickly rehearse the truths that it has acquired to direct the next critical move.
Readers of the Old Testament have the advantage of seeing over and over how God reminds His people of all of the bondage that he has freed them from throughout history. Faced with silence, the psalmist remembers:
Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion? (Psalm 77:7-9)
We know these feelings, the despair from thinking that our unworthiness has overwhelmed God’s grace. In these moments we need to remember.
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
Your ways, O God, are holy. (vv 10-13a)
God does not change.
Grace and peace to you.