How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? —Psalm 13:1
As Karissa Smith was browsing in a local library with her babbling 4-month-old daughter, an older man rudely told her to quiet her baby or he would. Smith responded, “I am very sorry for whatever in your life caused you to be so disturbed by a happy baby, but I will not tell my baby to shut up, and I will not let you do so either.” The man put his head down and apologized, and told her the story of how his son died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome over 50 years ago. He had repressed his grief and anger all those years.
In Psalm 13, David expressed his grief. He addressed God with raw and honest language: “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?” (v.1). These questions reflected fears of abandonment. David’s language of distress gave way to a plea for help and reaffirmation of his faith in God’s love for him (vv.3-6). Confidence and firm resolve came alongside the cry of distress.
We all go through dark nights of the soul when we wonder if God has abandoned us. As with David, our aching can give way to joy when we approach God honestly, plead for help, and reaffirm our trust in a God whose love for us will never waver or change.
Christ is the answer to pain;
Though by all others forsaken,
He at your side will remain. —Elwell