A friend and I were talking the other day about Psalm 13 (you can read it in your Bible). We noted right away that the Psalmist sounds abandoned, full of questions and possibly "forgotten" by God:
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
As we talked further about the Psalmist's plea, we noted that the cry seems to refer to God's timing of answered prayer - of being present; that the psalmist was concerned about how long he had to struggle with his troubles and wait for God to respond.
My friend then shared an experience that happened to him while driving home from Boulder City, Nev., a few years ago. It seems that it was very late and very dark - and there were very few travelers headed south on U.S. 93 to Kingman. My friend, thinking he would travel quickly home without running into any interference, was delayed by an old man in a very slow, beat-up truck. And in the midst of his great frustration, my buddy asked God why he had to be the one that "always" got stuck behind the slow-moving truck - that is, until he came upon a serious car accident that had just happened down the road. It was at this point that my friend thanked God for holding him back in traffic, and far away from a possible car wreck.
Although we cannot understand the mind of God, and certainly God's timing of mostly all things, God promises to always be with us, and never to abandon us!
And although many of us suffer greatly, physically and emotionally, we most often do not know or understand what mysterious plan God has in store for us. I can tell you that God does promise to never leave us alone (Look in your Bible at Psalm 46, Matthew 28, and Romans 8).
I'll see you in church, the grocery store, working out at the gym, on Badger Trail, or around town.
You can e-mail Pastor Michael by visiting www.stjohnsumc.com.