Skip to main content

Not ignored

Long enough, God—you’ve ignored me long enough. I’ve looked at the back of your head long enough. Long enough I’ve carried this ton of trouble, lived with a stomach full of pain. Long enough my arrogant enemies have looked down their noses at me. Take a good look at me, God, my God; I want to look life in the eye, so no enemy can get the best of me or laugh when I fall on my face. I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms—I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers. (Psalm 13)

Most of us have some capacity for endurance, whether it be with the distance we walk, the amount of waiting we can tolerate, or the pain we are willing to experience before we resort to a means of relief. "Long enough" is not a measure which is the same for each of us, but rather is a unique measure based on where we are emotionally, physically, spiritually, and even "relationally". Sometimes our "long enough" is shortened because of emotions being on edge - too much coming at us at one time and stress building up within. At other times, the same things could roll off our back without an issue, just because we were more "in balance" with our emotional stressors. There is nothing more disheartening, though, than to come to the place of "long enough" when you are waiting on God to answer some need in your life. In those times of "long enough", we want immediate relief, so any amount of waiting seems like an eternity and carries with it a huge "weight" of pressure.

One of the first places our minds go when we are at this place is that God is somehow ignoring us. Somehow we equate waiting, or even what we think is the slightest delay in relief, as his "ignoring us". The furthest thing is the case, though, for it is totally inconsistent with God's character to "ignore" his children. He cannot "ignore" issues we create, nor those we face because others have created them for us. He can be silent for a period, and this is probably where we get the impression he is "ignoring us". Silence is not ignorance - it is simply God waiting to speak! How do you know if you have reached your "end" point? There is not a cut and dry answer to this question. There are "hints" we might be at that point, though. One such hint is the tendency to "feel" like we are "talking to the hand" when it comes to our times of conversation with God. If you are not familiar with that saying it means we think God has erected some barrier to our being heard - we are talking to his hand - totally missing his ear and definitely not affecting his heart! Again, this is the furthest thing from his character, because God's intensity of love for his creation could never allow him to turn a deaf ear or be unmoved in his heart by their need.

Another hint of reaching our "end" is the tendency to have "frazzled" emotions. When we are at the end of our rope, emotions are kind of like live wires. We just don't know what will set us off the next time, and we cannot seem to move beyond those raw emotions. Emotions are definitely "real" and cannot be denied. We may find ourselves at our "end" point with emotions ranging from rage to depression, fear to apathy, or even sorrow to the depths of unyielding grief. The further we go "into" our emotions, the worse the "long enough" appears to us. There is a sensitivity to our situation which almost gets "blown out of proportion" simply because of the magnitude of our emotions. This doesn't mean the circumstances aren't real, important, or specific to us. It just means we may be unable to move out of them because our emotions are too frazzled to "deal" with them any longer.

Perhaps one of the most "telling" hints we have come to this place is feeling like the circumstances will never change - this is the way it is always going to be. Some might call this losing hope. All expectation is gone - there is no reasonable solution to the issues at hand, so we interpret this as being "hopeless". This may be the easiest place to begin to bring change into the circumstances, though. For every moment of "hopelessness" is a moment whereby we can begin to change our focus. A lack of hope is oftentimes based on our focus - focus on the issue(s) long enough and they become insurmountable (a mountain in our path incapable of being scaled). Focus on the next step in front of us one by one and the mountain becomes nothing more than a path we travel to get to the other side!

Regardless of why we might be at our "end" point today, we have the opportunity to express ourselves to the one who actually cares about our moments. God is not put off by our admittance of this feeling it has been "long enough" for us to be dealing with whatever it is. In fact, he is probably just waiting for us to bring him our "long enough" and let him become our "more than enough". Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,