How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.
But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
– Psalms 13:1-6 (NASB)
As we are currently studying 1 Samuel at the time of this post, I am mindful of all that happened to the shepherd boy David. Chosen by God to rule a nation, all he had known at the time of his anointing was a simple walk with God while he tended his fathers sheep. He was thrust into the limelight both by God’s calling and His ordering of David’s steps. Attacked and hunted by a raving, unrepentant king, stripped of his friends, family, and the stability of a permanent home, David found himself hiding in caves and on the run. Repeatedly, he asks “what have I done?” The answer is silence as God is at work, pressing him, molding him, and fashioning him into the man He would have him be. (more on that here)
Because of this great work in his life, David knew deep and debilitating depression, something that we can take solace in. We are not alone.
What the great psalmist did, was write and sing about the lessons of his life. I’m sure that he did it for himself in a sense, but the world has benefitted from the fruit of David’s trials for several hundred years.
At the end of his cries, at the end of his bitterness, we find the goal of the process… faith.
as he expresses at the end of this short psalm, David learned to trust in God, even when he could not see his salvation. The Lord would have it no other way for those who belong to Him.
And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. –Heb 11:32-34 (NASB)
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. –Heb 11:6 (NASB)