How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
Psalm 13:1 (ESV)
Series Focus: “Rising From the Valley”
It started like any other day, really. Grabbing my bible, journal, pen, and a cozy blanket, I crawled up in the same chair, in the same corner, in the same room. Though nothing appeared different about my surroundings, inside my soul something was drastically off that morning. The space I loved spending time with the Lord had become a place of heartache and hopelessness. His voice had been so quiet, so still, for so long, I believed He forgot I was there to meet Him. What was worse, I knew what I was choosing to believe was a lie, and I acted as if it were true that day. Because it felt true.
I swam in a pool of confusion where every question I asked stirred another question. Why Lord? How Lord? Answer me Lord. I trusted You, Lord. Even as I type these words, I am reminded of how I used the past tense—trusted. Could I still trust Him? Even though this hallway I was walking down was far too long and had no clear path out, somewhere deep within I knew the answer still laid in the hands of my Savior. I did all I knew to do; I opened my Bible, and I cried.
Are you waiting for the moment the pain ends, the circumstances change, the lies stop, or whatever your heartache heals? Does it feel like forever? You may wonder if you even have enough faith to hold on to. It might be easier to change things on your own. When these dark valleys swoop in around you, you must ask yourself: Do I know my Savior and trust Him to work while I wait? Can I recall a time when He rescued me from a different valley? And if you can turn your cries into praises, maybe the valley won’t seem so deep.
King David was called a man after God’s own heart. In times of anguish, even he put his questions out there. In Psalm 13:2, we read:
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
David knew the power of God. He knew God had saved him over and over from his enemies. He was the anointed King of Israel, yet he still had valleys. What did he do? He sought God, and He found Him. And as he sought, He joyfully praised Him.
Throughout scripture, we read passages telling us to seek and find! Here are a couple you may want to meditate on:
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done (1 Chronicles 16:11-12a ESV)
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 ESV)
Express yourself to God! Your feelings and situations are not hidden from Him. He knows every hair on your head. Choose to SEEK Him, even in the valley. You cannot rise without Him. And just as David did, praise Him! In Psalm 13, David moves from crying out for help to shouting out His praise:
But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me. (Psalm 13:5-6 NIV)
Valleys will come. Shallow or deep. We don’t know how long they will last. Whether a minute, a month, a year, or a lifetime, keep seeking God with all your heart while you wait. Don’t let what you don’t understand overshadow what you know to be true about God. He is the same God in the valley as He is on the mountaintop! So when you feel forgotten, tell the enemy to back off. Then, open your Bible, read God’s truth, and trust His timing.
Holding Fast to Hope,
For Reflection: Do you have a special place you meet with God? If not, make it a priority to discover a quiet space to spend time in scripture this week. Focus on seeking Him and sitting silently in His presence. Take a few moments to remind yourself that God knows you, sees you, and is in the waiting room with you.
Scripture References: Psalm 13, 27:8, 139; Jeremiah 29:13; 1 Chronicles 16:11-12; Genesis 16:13