How Much Longer?

How Much Longer?

Suitcases packed and stashed in the trunk of the car.

Gas gauge set on full.

Tote bag filled to the brim with sweet treats, munchies, bottled water and of course plenty of hand wipes!

Everyone buckled in and ready to go.

This is what you've been checking off the calendar since January 1st, and it's finally here!

The summer

family vacation!

Everyone is pumped and ready to go.

You drive to the stop sign at the end of your street when you hear some familiar voices from the backseat pleading,

"Are we there yet?"

"How much longer?"

When you're fifteen going on sixteen and just itching for that long-awaited driver's license and the freedom you "think" accompanies said license, so you're forever asking yourself and EVERYONE around you, 

"How much longer?" 

Standing in front of the microwave as you count down the last two minutes until you'll be enjoying fresh, hot, buttered popcorn  exclaiming in a very high pitch voice,

"Come on,

hurry up!

How much longer

must I wait?" 

Someone else asked a very similar question.

However, this person wasn't going on a family vacation, standing in front of a microwave or waiting to get his driver's license!

No, King David's question was a bit more intense.

A bit more serious.

And He wasn't asking his question to himself or those around him. No, King David was asking his question to none other than the Lord. 

"How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?

How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me."
Psalm 13

As you can see, this psalm begins with discouragement and despair, but ends with encouragement, trust and joy. 

Sounds much like the different seasons of life we each personally face, does it not? Or even what we may face in a single day!

Going from one extreme to the next!

David asks the question, "How long", four different times in the first two verses.

He is struggling with the sense that God had forgotten him. That God had distanced Himself from him.

David faced many giants, both physically and spiritually in the past, but during those times he had the full assurance of sensing the presence of God was with him. But now he's "feeling" separated and abandoned by God, and that "feeling" was enough to send David spiraling into deep despair. 

Have you ever felt God has forgotten or distanced Himself from you?

I think we've all been there especially when we're waiting on the Lord for a specific answer to a specific prayer and all we get is silence!

We, too, like David, may cry out, "How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?"

We KNOW the Lord had NOT forgotten David and He does NOT forget us either! 

The Word of God teaches that the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us, but we allow our emotions and feelings to tell us otherwise.

That's exactly what David was doing.

Notice the wording in verse two, "How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily?"

David was looking within himself for comfort instead of looking to the Lord.

Oh, how many times I have done the very same thing. Playing over and over again in my mind the troubles and sorrows of life instead of talking to the Lord about them, all because I "felt" as if the Lord had abandoned me!  

BUT things take a drastic turn in verse three when David DOES cry out to the Lord. David not only prays to the Lord, but he also makes a request for the Lord to "lighten his eyes".

Definition of lighten according to Websters Online Bible Dictionary:  "To illuminate with knowledge".

By asking the Lord to "lighten his eyes", David was simply asking for the Lord's wisdom and knowledge. To see things the way the Lord sees them. 

We also NEED to ask God to, "lighten our eyes", so we can be led by the Lord's wisdom and knowledge, and not by our feelings and ever-changing emotions.  

David then exclaims, "But I have trusted in thy mercy." 

Notice that this is written in the past tense. It's as if David was remembering that he truly DID trust God. The blinders were dropping from his eyes so to speak!

Isn't it

AMAZING 

what just

a little talk

with the Lord

can do!

Now, instead of allowing his feelings to direct him, David is directing his feelings and what does he do?

He begins

to REJOICE!

If David had nothing else to rejoice in, he could definitely rejoice in the salvation God gave him. And we, as believers, can do the EXACT same thing! When all around is sinking sand, we can still REJOICE in our salvation! 

Verse six says it all, "I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me."

I know there are times when you and I don't "feel" like singing, but I have come to learn, or I should say, I am learning that the VERY BEST way to overcome discouragement, despair and depression is to first, PRAY, and then begin to PRAISE and REJOICE because the Lord definitely has dealt bountifully with me!

www.kjvonlinebible.org

No, our situation may not change, but it will definitely change our attitude!

Let's you and I purpose together that the next time we find ourselves facing despair and discouragement that we will PRAY. Talking HONESTLY to the Lord. NOT seeking comfort within ourselves but allowing the Lord to comfort us!

We will TRUST the Lord.

We will PRAISE AND REJOICE because the Lord has surely dealt bountifully with each of us. Begin by thanking the Lord for your personal relationship with Jesus and then just keep on counting your blessings one by one!

We will SING unto the Lord!

"There is not half enough singing in the world. I remember a servant who used to sing while she was at the wash-tub. Her mistress said to her, 'Why, Jane, how is it that you are always singing?' She said, 'It keeps the bad thoughts away.'"
Charles Spurgeon


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May God Bless You,

Barb

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