Every single time I find myself in a trial or hardship, my tendency is to ask God, “Why?” Anybody else? From the time I was a little child, I’ve needed to know the why behind the what. I think it drove my mom a bit crazy along with most of my authority figures, but it’s been true of me. In more recent years, it has been a point of pruning in me. Painful, but necessary. Hard, but good.
I’ve always struggled with accepting instruction at face value. I want to challenge it first before embracing it. I have a hard time jumping on board until I know the why behind it. While this can be a weakness in me, I’ve also seen how this can be a strength, too. I’ve learned over the years to harness this stubbornness within me for the good. I’ve learned to listen to teaching and instruction with the criteria of holding everything up against the Word of God, the ultimate authority above any man or any human utterance. I’ve learned to dig a bit deeper below the surface to gain further understanding.
I’ve also learned to start asking different questions.
“How long, O LORD? How long?”
Psalm 13 repeats this question again and again. Four times within the first two verses, David begs God with this question. The hardships of this life and the weight that they bring can feel suffocating at times. Too much. Too heavy. Too painful. Often, our immediate default is to try and figure out some way out from under the pressure. We want God to rescue us from the pain, not necessarily to have His presence with us through it.
But what if remaining under the pressure of our trial is in fact what produces perseverance in us? What if God uses time to teach us valuable lessons? What if the time that lapses between the injury and the healing is exactly what He wills and intends to use in our lives…so that we might come to know Him more?
“What are you trying to teach me through this?”
What if we started asking different questions? And what if we spent our time in the waiting and in the pain worshiping instead of wailing?
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:5-6
Both the length and intensity of every trial we will taste are in the sovereign hands of God. He is in charge. We are not. We can certainly ask, “How long?” David did four times in just two verses! But, while we wait for His answer, let’s worship Him in the waiting.
Because He’s faithful.
Because He’s worthy.
Because in the length of our waiting, we find Him.
Because He is more than enough.