I received an email that tore my gut in two. A friend from seminary wrote to those on his mailing list. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. He was back in his home city with his children, no longer in the Asian country where God led him and his wife to minister. Their work was vital in a place restricted and fraught with danger. He knew what it meant to serve God through opposition. But he never expected his wife to fall in love with someone she met on the internet. She left her family—devastated. As if confused and heartbroken was not bad enough, his mission organization requested his resignation. Now what does he do? Who can he trust? His children struggle mightily to adjust to a new culture. They wrestle with the reality their mother is living in immorality. He wonders what more could go wrong.
Psalm 30:7—LORD, when You showed Your favor, You made me stand like a strong mountain; when You hid Your face, I was terrified.
Friends, there are times in life when we know God’s favor is on us. We are like a strong mountain, impervious to any and all threats. Times of favor are great times, a season filled with joy. But what about those periods when God cannot be found? Suddenly, life makes no sense. Pain is as present and real as a deep cut or a serious burn. Our worst fear or nightmare becomes a wretched reality. Those we trusted abandon us, we fall to sickness or become victim to some abrupt calamity. When God vanishes, terror screams her offbeat note and her chorus makes even the brave shudder.
David was a heroic lover of God. Nevertheless, he faced horrific dangers. David knew the real and present shock of betrayal—his own king and later one of his sons tried to kill him. David understood the sting of rejection—his wife, Michal, mocked his joyous dancing. His friends were murdered and his life often hung on the verge of elimination. If ever there was a man to quit, to put away the harp, to bathe in the water of bitterness, to turn away from His Lord, or to yield to his enemies, it was Judah’s singer-warrior.
Yet, this handsome man clothed in grief, also wrote, “LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me . . . You turned my lament into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” (Psa. 30: 2,11). David emerged safe and died old. He remained blessed because he knew the One who hid His face would always reemerge. Can you hear him exhorting his warriors, “Terror may come in the morning, but don’t give up! Pain may suck at the very marrow of your bone but don’t stop believing in God’s love. Forget about trying to understand the whys, just believe in the who.”
O God, I cry out for my terrified brother. Hold his deep chasm ache with your deeper love. Hide no longer, One who is everywhere; your son needs his Father.
I remembered my own Gethsemane, the night in prayer following the announcement of Devon’s status as a terminal cancer patient. I realized that Jesus had made a request in the Garden. Like mine, it had not been answered.—Carol A. and William J. Rowley in On Wings Of Mourning
©2009 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)