A Psalm of David. To You, O LORD, I call; My rock, do not be deaf to me,
For if You are silent to me, I will become like those who go down to the pit.
Do you ever wonder if God goes on vacation? Here we are in the middle of summer and I have challenged my family and those vacationing at our home to unplug from electronic devices for a week or two in order to savor our time together in old-fashioned ways like talking face to face, playing antiquated games and making passé eye contact with each other. Although the challenge has not fully been met it has been a joy not having to compete with a television, Xbox or cell phone day in and day out. This might explain to friends and coworkers why I haven’t responded to the dozens of unread emails in my inbox or replied to their text.
It might seem in light of recent global and domestic events that even God has taken a vacation this summer. I see the news of more hatred and violence and want to scream, “Where are you God? Don’t you see what’s going on here?” I’m not the first to cry out to God this way and I won’t be the last. If you look in scripture you will find many places where people cried out to God in desperate need of His Presence and answer to their prayers. Look at Habakkuk’s complaint:
How long, O LORD, will I call for help,
And You will not hear?
I cry out to You, “Violence!”
Yet You do not save.
Why do You make me see iniquity,
And cause me to look on wickedness?
Yes, destruction and violence are before me;
Strife exists and contention arises. 1:2-3
Couldn’t this have been written last week? What about when David, a man after God’s own heart cries out in multiple Psalms, “How long O Lord…?” If what you are seeing on the news breaks your heart too, know that you can also cry out to God as the men of the Bible did. Just because God appears to be absent or silent doesn’t mean He is not present.
My pastor, Scott Sauls, said today, “We’ve led ourselves to believe that negative emotion is unspiritual.” In reality the brokenness we experience in the world today should break our hearts and ignite a righteous anger in our souls. Jesus wept. We too should weep over the injustice, violence, and wickedness that is ever present in our world today. We should weep and cry out to God as Habakkuk did in 3:2, “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.”
In our day this is what He has made known: For God so loved this war-torn, hate-filled, unjust world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
Here is our hope! This is not the end. Life will not always be this way. There is a Redeemer who has come to make all that is wrong with this world become untrue. He has conquered all sin and offered us, the sinners, forgiveness and righteousness through His blood. He has defeated death when He arose from the grave and offers us eternal life in His name.
At times like these it may appear that God has gone on vacation, His word promises us He has not. He who is Faithful and True will never leave us nor forsake us. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but fear not, I have overcome the world.”