Did you ever have one of those days where you just want to say, “I give up! I surrender!” Silly question. Of course you have. We all have. I’m not talking about the good “surrender.” Sometime we just feel like the whole world is against us and there is nothing we can do about it. And sometime, we even think… “Even God isn’t listening or watching. If He were, this wouldn’t be going on.” Then we start to think we shouldn’t be thinking like that and we start to feel a bit of guilt creep (yeah that’s a good word for the way guilt moves) in because we think God isn’t paying attention. We feel guilt because we know: Of course He is paying attention and knows our woes. Then that guilt just piles on top of the bad day we are having.
We aren’t alone. David had plenty of days like that and he wasn’t afraid to express himself and his frustrations. Look at Psalm 13 (shameless plug for my daughter — yes Hannah, Psalm 13):
13 For the music director. A psalm of David.
1 How long, O Yahweh? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I take counsel in my soul,
and sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O Yahweh my God.
Give light to my eyes
lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4 and lest my enemy should say, “I have overcome him,”
lest my enemies rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But as for me, I have trusted in your steadfast love.
My heart will rejoice in your deliverance.
6 I will sing to Yahweh
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
The Lexham English Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
I love that first line: How Long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? Not one question, but two. Sometimes I’ve read that Psalm and forget that there are two question marks there and read it as one question “How long, O Lord, will you forget me forever?” But that misses the point. David is frustrated! How much longer do I have to suffer with this condition? Really God, are you going to let this last an eternity?!!!!
Then verse two comes along and I think David must have had a mother from New York city — with all respect, I can just hear his Jewish mother coming through, trying to lay that guilt trip — How long do I have to do this alone. I’ll just carry this sorrow in my heart all day, don’t worry about me…”
Then David goes back to moaning… I am beaten down by my enemies! It seems like they are always winning, always on top while I am down here in the pits! How long is this going to go on?
Then a glimmer of hope. A plea. “Give light to my eyes!” Or, in our terms, don’t let them (my enemies) see my discouragement. I don’t want them to think I’m defeated.
Then finally, a turn in perspective! Wait, God, you do know my plight. I trust You. You will get me through this. I trust in Your love for me. I will leap for joy. I will sing a new song for You!
Indeed, we are in good company when we have a bad day, or bad days, or many bad days. Don’t be afraid to express yourself to your Father. He can take it. When you do express yourself, I like the proportions of this Psalms. Here’s the recipe:
- 1/3 Moaning
- 1/3 Pleading
- 1/3 Declaring faith and victory
It’s OK to moan and plead, get it out of your system. Before you can get to declaring faith and victory, you have to get before a Father who is willing to listen. He wants to hear you moan and plead! That just means you have to get closer to Him so He can give you faith and victory!
Take it in thirds!