Monday, January 16, 2012

How Long, O Lord!

"My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long?" (Psalm 6:3).

There are many how-longs in the Bible. While Providence smiles, we take no notice; His consolations seem insignificant to none when all is well in our lives. We forget that He gives as well as takes. Then when a cloud slips past the sun, we forget that the sun still exists. Even when it is midnight and we are deep in the dark night of our soul, God still lives. We eclipse Him, not vice versa. And it is a vice to forget this. "As when the sun is eclipsed, though the earth wants the light thereof, yet not the influence thereof; so God's supporting grace is ever with His deserted" (Trapp).

Complaint should be carried to God and not be of God or anyone else. Because He is the same yesterday when we had joy, today when we have grief, and tomorrow when we have a new kind of joy born of faith in His purposes, then we should trust anyway and always. "This, too, shall pass!" Our God has measured our crosses to our caliber and He has calibrated just what we can bear. He has also appointed the time, and there are times when our disappointment is His appointment.

Even if we carry our cross to our grave, when we arise in our resurrection, blooms of love and elation will be flourishing from that cross, because we were faithful and believed to the end that God will bring good from what is so bad. Sorrows may end here; they most assuredly will end hereafter.

Jesus asked His how longs, too: "O unbelieving and perverse long shall I stay with you and put up with you?" (Luke 9:41). Surely He felt a "how long" when He hung on the cross for us. We ask our how longs and our how muches; God simply asks us, "How much do you love Me? Is it enough to bear with what I now have for you, no matter how long it may last?"

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