“How long…?” It’s a question that has probably been asked more than we have liked this year. “How long are we going to be shut down?” “How long do we have to keep wearing masks?” “How long before we can see our loved ones face to face again?” As a Pastor, I have asked this question many times: “How long until we can gather together?” “How long until we can safely visit high-risk members?” “How long until we are back to one big service?” some of these questions have been answered while others have not.
This question is one of waiting. For many of us, it is often one of waiting in the darkness. And it’s not limited to the pandemic. “How long will our nation be divided?” “How long can I stay in this failing relationship?” “How long before my prayer for my lost family member’s salvation is answered?” How long before the darkness lifts?” The people of Israel knew this question well. King David cried out in Psalm 13:
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
The waiting is difficult. It’s thought to be never-ending. And if we are not careful, the answer becomes the rule of measure to gauge our love from God. We hear lies whispered, such as If he really loved you, wouldn’t he have answered by now? or God is too busy, you are not worth the answer. And we grow weary. But I want you to know that God is there and God still cares. Your waiting is not for nothing.
The love of God is not based on our circumstances. It flows from the mercy and grace poured out from the shed blood of Jesus. God loved us when we were unlovable. Why would he change that? So fight against the lie that love is found in the answer and the miracle. The love of God is found in Jesus. that is why David goes on to say in v. 5, “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” There is a song called Miracle or Not that is done by Worship Initiative, and the chorus nailed this truth for us:
As long as it takes
For my heart to find its song
As long as it takes to know
I’m still not alone
And at the end of the day
I’ll stand right here and say
I know that You love me
Miracle or not
So keep asking the question. But regardless of the answer, know that the father is still good. You are still valuable to the Creator of the Universe. Know that you are not alone in any of this, and when all is said and done, your heart can sing and trust that God loves you… miracle (answer) or not.