Do you ever get tired of the grind? I mean, the seemingly endless stream of unexpected circumstances that can often carry quite a wallop. You’re looking for the fastball and life throws you the wicked breaking ball.
God never said it would be easy.
The Psalmist David prayed to God in His time of distress. “Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled; But You, O LORD—how long?”
The final two words express what we often feel, how long? It isn’t just that we are in a difficult place, it’s that it seems it will not end. We wonder if we’re going to be able to make it—to endure. We are tempted to return to our former ways of dealing with our pain by seeking our favorite sinful and carnal numbing agents. But alas, this would mean we would fail the test and only have to repeat it.
Life is a test.
David continues his prayer to God. “I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows old because of all my enemies.” David draws near to God and shares his heart with raw honesty. He speaks of the intensity and depth of his pain imposed by his enemies. In his honesty He senses God is near.
God is listening. He really does care.
“Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; for the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD has heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled; let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly.” David is suddenly hopeful! His new hope is not because his situation had change; it was because the Lord heard his prayer and drew near.
Peace is not the absence of trouble—but the presence of the Lord.
We need to remember what God told Abraham in Genesis 15:1. “Do not be afraid...I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” This is the reason for our testing. God wants us to experience a deeper intimacy with him and learn that He Himself is life’s greatest reward. And it seems the only way we can learn this wonderful truth is to suffer some type of loss. Often what we lose is something we depended on too much and even though it seems cruel that God would take it away He is actually doing us a great favor. He is leading us down the path to greater intimacy with Him.
Life is a test. Enjoy the journey.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8