We have heard with our ears, O God; our fathers have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our fathers; you crushed the peoples and made our fathers flourish. It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.
You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob. Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes. I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.
But now you have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies. You made us retreat before the enemy, and our adversaries have plundered us. You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations. You sold your people for a pittance, gaining nothing from their sale. You have made us a reproach to our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us. You have made us a byword among the nations; the peoples shake their heads at us.
My disgrace is before me all day long, and my face is covered with shame at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me, because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.
All this happened to us, though we had not forgotten you or been false to your covenant. Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path. But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals and covered us over with deep darkness.
If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart? Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. Rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love.
And elderly farm couple was driving along a country road in their battered old pickup, when a shiny new convertible swooped past them. The two young people in the convertible were seated so close together, her head on his shoulder and his right arm holding her tight, they almost looked like one. The old woman looked across the bench seat to her husband of 40 years and said dreamily, “Remember back when we used to sit that close together?” The old man replied, “I’ve never moved.”
Sometimes it feels like we’re out there all alone. Our God, Who once felt so close to us now seems so far away. It’s a dark hour. Where is He? Why doesn’t He respond?
He created us for a love relationship with Him. It’s the only thing He needs from us, and He needs it so badly that He gave His life to make it possible. His love is the one thing we can count on in this world. His mercies are new every morning. There’s no way, having gone to such extremes to redeem us that He would ever abandon us. “And surely I am with you always,” He said, “To the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20)
When Peter, having gotten out of the boat and begun walking on the water, began to sink, he cried out, “Lord! Save me!” Immediately the Lord was at his side, holding him up, bringing him back to the boat. There’s no place you can go where He cannot rescue you the minute you ask.
If you feel so far away, maybe you’re the one who’s moved. Try confessing your sins and then ask Him if you’ve somehow taken the wrong fork in a road you were going down together. Spend more time reading your Bible, praying. You’ll find him again.
And when you do, and recall how close the two of you used to be, you’ll hear Him gently say, “I’ve never moved.”