Have you ever felt forgotten by someone you loved? Did you care for someone, but they didn’t show the same concern for you in return? When we feel overlooked by those we love, it can be discouraging. Although, when we’re enduring through the darkest of times, what often makes those seasons so unbearable is feeling like God has forgotten us. When friends, family or loved ones forget us, it can be disheartening, but when we feel like God has forgotten us, it can deeply shake our faith.
I can’t count the times when I’ve questioned how God could allow incredible suffering to endure for so long. I’ve doubted if God was even listening. I’ve grown anxious wondering if God would ever bring an end to the silence.
When we’re in a desperate place, full of darkness, pain and agony, we become ever so eager for the end of our suffering to occur. We want restoration. We desire answers. We crave any sign of hope on the horizon.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.
Here in Psalm 13, we see David earnestly seeking God for a sign that He is near and working. In the first section of the chapter, David pens the words “How long” four times, expressing his increasing desire for an end to his waiting.
We find David feeling overcome with despair. He asks God to give “light to his eyes” which is believed to translate from Hebrew as “wisdom” or “truth.” David desires God to help provide him with a renewed understanding of God’s purpose in his situation. David possesses the right heart, he is honest with God, pouring out his questions, but recalls deep in his heart that God doesn’t need to change his situation, but rather refocus his perspective on his circumstances.
David ends the passage with praise and worship to God, trusting and rejoicing how God has delivered him, even when he didn’t understand what God was doing. He believed in God’s plan and recalled that God has been good, even when his life was far from it.
David waited 15 long years to become the projected king God had promised him way back when he was just a shepherd boy. I can imagine how David could have grown doubtful that God would ever fulfill His promise when Saul eagerly sought out to kill David for many dark days.
When we feel God leading us down a path we thought was blessed by Him, only to find our trust has led us to a closed door, it can become incredibly difficult to understand God’s reasoning. It can thwart our trust in God that He was working for our best all along. When our needs feel unfulfilled and the response to our pleas for help are returned with silence, it feels personal.
When God is silent, it can feel like He has forgotten us. It’s like our needs, desires and pleas for help are being forgotten. It’s like we’re drowning in the rip current and the life guard is oblivious to our cries for help. While it may seem as though when times get dark, God grows more silent, please remember silence doesn’t indicate neglect. In fact, God is always near to His children when they call to Him. Just because you don’t see Him working or witness His handiwork, doesn’t mean He has forgotten you.
1 John 5:14
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
God may not be answering your prayer the way you’d like, but He is most definitely working in your situation. He hasn’t forgotten your needs. He hasn’t overlooked your situation. He hasn’t made a mistake. He’s allowed whatever this is to pull you in closer to Him. You may not see a visible sign of His presence, but isn’t that what faith is all about? Trusting in God when we cannot see? Believing He knows what He’s doing when we don’t understand? Knowing there’s purpose when we aren’t sure of the reasoning?
God never allows pain without purpose. He never leaves us in the storm. He endures through the delay with you. He’s working in your situation and is waiting alongside you. People may forget us. They may overlook our pain, hardships and needs, but God intimately knows our pain and suffering and He is working to make purpose from it all.
1 Peter 5:10
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
Don’t allow the waiting in your life to make you feel like God has forgotten you, He’s allowing this waiting period to help grow and mature your faith. Just like the saying goes “the teacher is always silent during the test” the same can relate to our trials we face in life. God sometimes remains silent while we’re enduring a trial to help us apply what we’ve learned and deepen our knowledge of Him, without giving us all the answers to questions we won’t fully understand until we reach Heaven.
Instead of answers to our questions, what we need to remember during our season of delay is that God is working. He is using this delay for something of incredible purpose. He sees your pain. He is making a way. This is being used to strengthen and mature your faith. He is near to you and is always listening to your prayers, and most importantly, He will never forget you!