Great expectations have been shattered. The people of God are left to destruction, left to pain, left to pick up the pieces of what seems to be a broken promise. The Psalmist cries out, “Whereis the love you are famous for? How long will you hide your face?” Exile has become the narrative.
There is deep sorrow in the Psalm and yet there is a glimmer of hope revealed in two simple words. How long? And with these two words from the mouth of the Psalmist a deeper understanding of God’s work is revealed. Though the pain is crushing, at some point it will end.
When the great promises in our life become great disappointments it’s natural to question God’s love. Sometimes the crushing reality of the world is overwhelming, and the love of God seems far away. The question then is how long? How long is it really going to last? How long will the suffering go on? It’s in these times of deep grief that we are meant to do as the Psalmist has.
For God’s love is present in the pain. God’s promise is still there. It’s ok to ask “How long?” For we are meant to bring the grief of unfulfilled promise to God in prayer. We are meant to let the promise rest. We are meant to allow our hearts to be vulnerable and ask “How long?”
Dear Lord, Where is the love you are so famous for? Where has the promise of your grace gone? I know that you have promised, but all I have is one question? How long will you hide? How long will I suffer? How long will I hurt? Remember me in my pain. Find me in my sorrow. Amen.
Shannon Borgman is involved with Oregon Trail Presbyterian Ministries.
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