Reading: Psalm 77
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.
I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted.
I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
“Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” (NIV).*
Sometimes in our walk of faith, we go through dark days. Answers to our prayers do not come quickly. We are left wondering if God even hears or cares. The opening verses of Psalm 77 reflect the psalmist’s mood of desolation, which approaches despair. The psalmist has more questions than the Lord has answers. At least that’s how it appears. “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
I recall a pleasant spring morning walk through a quiet residential neighborhood with my sister. Suddenly without warning, I was struck by a car backing out of a driveway. In an instant, pleasure was replaced by searing pain. My right knee was skinned and bleeding. Ligaments in my left ankle were torn. I hobbled about on crutches for months. Summer months were marked by pain and frustration.
Like the psalmist, my days after the accident were filled with questions. Questions by police officers. Questions by family members and friends. Questions by insurance claim specialists. Questions by doctors. And in my quiet moments, I have had a few questions for the Lord, “Why did you allow this to happen? What should my response be? How long will this pain last? When will I be able to walk normally again? Did I do something wrong to bring on this pain?”
Response: LORD God, I don’t have the answers. You do. Your word tells me to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Help me to do just that in distressing circumstances like during this pandemic. You are always worthy of praise even when I don’t understand. Amen.
Your Turn: Do you have questions for God when life seems to go off the rails?
* New International Version, Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica
Some good news: The first volume of 365 Days through the Psalms by award-winning author David Kitz will be published in November, 2020, by Elk Lake Publishing. Two additional volumes will follow in 2021 to complete the three volume set of devotions from the Psalms.