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How Long?

Updated: May 4

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

- Psalm 13:1


That’s the question we all have, isn’t it? We can hear it reverberating all over the world. How long?


How long will we have to shelter in place; how long will we have to stay home? How long do we have to wear masks, to stay away from our friends and family, to not go out to our favorite places to eat and play?


How long before our businesses can open, before we can go back to work, before we can start earning money again? How long do we endure the political fights due to this pandemic?


Just a few months ago I might have used that scripture verse for something that seemed important but, in reality, might not have had as much meaning as it does now:


We barely get out of town on a long trip and our children begin the mantra: How much longer before we get there? How long before we can stop and get a drink; go to the bathroom; get out and see something fun?


I’ve been dealing with a pain in my side and as much as it hurts, tests are not showing what it is. And sometimes I want to yell: How long, O Lord? How long before this goes away and I can do my thing again?


But then I stop and think about the thousands of people who are suffering so much from this invasive disease that has permeated the world. People sick. People dying. People fighting to live. Frontline workers giving their all, sacrificing their lives for the sake of those they are caring for. Families scared and worrying about their loved one who is sick but they cannot be with. Families grieving because a loved one has died and they weren’t able to say goodbye.

There are so many people who suffer; so many who must be crying out to God: “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”


Truth is, in the Bible there are times when God, too, has asked “How Long?” For instance, in Numbers 14:11, God asks Moses: “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?


Even God, our Creator and Savior, asks us the same kind of question: “How long?”


God is with us always, regardless of how we are feeling, no matter how lost and full of despair we are, God is there. God desires for us to turn to Him; to trust in Him. We are not promised a life with no waiting, no suffering, no pain or longing. But we are promised that we are not alone and that God just wants us to lean on Him; to turn to God; to trust with all our beings.


I know for sure that trusting and leaning on God does not make the problem go away. But it sure does make it so much more tolerable.


The Lord is with us. He knows every feeling, every hurt, every frustration, every tear. Our God will lead us through this difficult time and will take us to the other side. And there is the other side. It is in sight, even if it is foggy at the moment.


Trust in God for He is our strength and our shield.


Amen.

Sharlyn



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© 2020 by Dr. Sharlyn DeHaven Gates