Wailing, Waiting, Wondering
Posted in Trust/Patience
Scripture: “How long, O Lord? Will You forgt me forever? … How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? … 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.” – Psalm 13: 1-2, 5-6
There is no Scripture reference to the days between Christ’s burial and His resurrection, and I chose this Psalm as it has the same question asked four times. That question is “How long O Lord?” How long is a question of great angst! The Psalmist is struggling with the events that are happening and the seeming absence of God in the midst of that struggle. I can imagine that the disciples were asking that same question after Christ’s death and before his resurrection.
The day between Christ’s death and resurrection must have seemed interminable to the disciples and the women who were in the inner circle of Jesus. I think of Mary Magdelene sitting by the tomb all day long, of Jesus’ mother wailing at the death of her Son, and the disciples just waiting for the day to be over. Even though Jesus had told them he would rise again on the third day, there was wondering if that would really happen. How long would it be before God broke into the world?
Our days may seem that way right now. Some are wailing in grief at the losses of health, of loved ones, of finances, or just life as we have known it. Others are waiting and asking how long are we going to have to be inconvenienced by physical distance and not being able to do what we want to do, like to do, or need to do. The waiting seems to be so long. Our hearts cry out, how long O Lord?
This Psalm ends with the Psalmist speaking of his trust in God, his rejoicing in salvation, and then he sings praises to God because of God’s goodness to him in the past. I would add to this title, watching. You see, the Psalmist was watching for where God had broken into his life in the past. He was trusting that God would show up in the moment. The disciples and the women were trusting also. They were going through the motions of what they needed to do, and watching for God to show up. God did show up on Easter Sunday morning. Will we be on the watch for God in this moment in history and believe that he is coming again to make all things right? We live in the now and the not yet of the Kingdom of God. Christ has come once, and we see God at work, but we don’t see God face to face. Will we cry with the Psalmist, “How long O Lord?’ Will we see God in the midst of struggle and disappointment as we wait for his return?
Prayer: O Lord, we come today with questions in our hearts and minds about where you are and what you might be doing. As the Psalmist trusted you in the midst of struggle, help us to trust you in the waiting time. Help us to be on the lookout for your presence in our midst while we wail, wait, and wonder at the world and your work. We pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Submitted by Rev. Lynn Grandsire