How long, O Lord? Psalm 13:1
Thank God Psalm 13 is in the Bible! We need it. We live in a suffering world, and a faith, quite candidly, that does not speak to human pain is not worth taking seriously.
This psalm speaks to struggles that have no end in sight. Four times we find the question, “How long?” The hardest trials to endure are not the ones that hurt the most, but the ones that last the longest.
Nicholas Wolterstorff went through the agony of losing his son (who was 25 years old) in a climbing accident. He kept a diary over the following year, and called it Lament for a Son. It is a journal of a soul in agony, struggling to hold onto faith in the darkness of irreplaceable loss.
Reflecting on his experience, 12 years later, Wolterstorff says,
Often I am asked whether the grief remains as intense as when I wrote. The answer is, No. The wound is no longer raw. But it has not disappeared.
That is as it should be. If he was worth loving, he is worth grieving over. Grief is… testimony to the worth of the one loved. That worth abides. So I own my grief, I do not try to put it behind me, to get over it, to forget it…
I struggle indeed to go beyond merely owning my grief toward owning it redemptively. But I will not and I cannot disown it.
Psalm 13 is a lament, so when you walk through irreplaceable loss, this psalm is for you.
Are you going through (or have you gone through) a trial that never seems to end?