How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.
Sometimes it seems we’re so alone. The trials and tribulations of our lives close around us like darkness and we wonder how we’ll make it through. Where is the Lord? Why doesn’t He answer? Doesn’t He see the trouble that’s brewing?
Of course He does, and having seen the end from the beginning, He knows how it’s going to turn out. And not only that, He knows how the resolution of our current situation fits into the big picture of our lives, what we’ll be called upon to endure and how it compares with what others are called upon to endure. In short He has perspective we’ll never have. Sure He could make everything go away with the snap of a finger, but would we learn anything? Wouldn’t we just wind up in an even bigger pickle down the road, having missed the lessons of our current one?
It’s not that He orchestrated the situation to teach us something, mind you, that’s our fault. But He saw it coming, knows how it’s going to end, and is working to turn the lemons we’ve produced into lemonade.
And besides, His word tells us, the trials we’re facing are only those common to men. (1 Corinth. 10:13) It may be the biggest problem we’ve ever had, but others have faced that and worse and lived to tell about it.
“In this world, you will have tribulation,” He said, “But take heart, for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) And because He has, we will. With the strength of our faith, we can rise above our current crisis and receive the grace to endure.
And unlike our unsaved neighbors, we know that this too shall pass. One day soon He will put a stop to all this and we’ll begin our Great Adventure. No more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away.
If we, with the eye of faith, can learn to see what He, with the Eye of Creation has seen and prepared for those who love Him, we can rejoice with the saints of the past at the nearness of His Presence and learn for ourselves their sustaining affirmation. “Maximum trial; maximum Grace.”
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:4-7)