Today is one of those days when impatience seems to be getting the best of me. I’ve prayed for something but have not yet seen the answer with my own eyes. I’ve proclaimed my trust that God will answer, but nonetheless impatience is knocking at the door. Doubt is incessantly ringing the doorbell, and I’m having trouble not opening the door and letting it in.
As has become my habit in such times, I turned to the Psalms. I went to www.Biblegateway.com and searched the Psalms for the phrase “how long.” This is, after all, the question of the impatient. How long, Lord, until You answer my prayer? It’s kind of like the whining kid in the backseat on a long car trip, “How long till we get there?” comes the question as you back out of the driveway, then again a mile down the road, and it’s repeated at intervals of 3 to 5 miles. It’s going to be a long trip!
Only now I’m the kid in the backseat of my life. So to the Psalms I go, and I find this gem:
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
How long will you look the other way?
2 How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
3 Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
4 Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.
Wow, how is that for whining? “Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.” Makes me realize just how melodramatic my incessant prayers must sound to God. But He put this Psalm here for a reason. He knew we (I) would have days like this when impatience threatens to take over and cause me to just give up.
Then I come to the last stanza of the Psalm, and I am reminded of Who is in charge. I am reminded of Who I trust. I am reminded to go to the door and tell doubt and impatience to go away. Like the third little pig in his house of brick, if I don’t open the door the big bad wolf of doubt can’t get in. So I say to them “not by the hair of my chinny chin chin, I won’t let you in.” Then I read them the end of the Psalm so they’ll know they have no chance of winning.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
6 I will sing to the Lord
because he is good to me.
His love is unfailing! The road trip might be long and winding, but He will get me to the destination. He took the long trip from His throne to a manger and then to the cross so that I would know always of His unfailing love.
This is why I love the Psalms. I go there looking for words to use to complain to God, to cry out “how long, O Lord,” and I find words of comfort and faith. And so I will sing to the Lord because He has been and always will be good to me.