1 How long, O Lord? 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 have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
One of the beautiful things about the psalms is just how honest they are about the heart feelings of people who are people of God. When you see joy in the psalms, it is genuine joy. When you see pain in the psalms, there is genuine pain. Nothing is hidden and all is real.
Too many Christians believe that, to be faithful to God, they must always pretend to be happy, without pain. You can usually spot these folks when you walk into church and greet them, because, every time that they tell you how they are, they exaggerate their happiness. Even when these folks are going through disappointment or emotional struggles, they do not say so. Instead, they simply continue to pretend to have everything under control.
Now, don’t get me wrong, some folks really are happy almost always. Some folks have a great, God-centered worldview. We would not want them to pretend to be any less happy or any less joyful then they actually are.
But, let’s be real; not everybody is always at ease with how things are going. Sometimes things are hard. Sometimes we struggle. Sometimes we hurt. Sometimes we weep. It is wonderful to know that we do not have to pretend that everything is OK when it is not. If the psalmist can cry out to God asking “How long, O Lord,” we can do the same thing. And, if somebody asks us how we are, there is nothing wrong with letting them know that we are asking God to help us through a tough time.
So, here are some thoughts that come to my mind as I think through the first verses of Psalm 13:
· Sometimes God’s people hurt.
· Even faithful followers of God hurt at times.
· When we hurt, it is OK to cry out to God and ask him for help.
· We need not hide what is happening in our hearts.
· If you are joyful, be joyful.
· If you are hurting, don’t pretend anything else.