In this prayer of lament, the psalmist poses five questions to God, with no evidence that any of the questions are clearly answered, or any hint there is even relief from the desperate circumstances. How long will you forget me God? How long will you hide from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts? How long must I have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy get the best of me? Sound like questions you’ve composed in your own soul? Notice though, how the Psalmist does not dwell on the negative, but finds an ability to praise God, and place his trust in the Lord who saves. Eugene Peterson helps put this into perspective, he says that if we pray our lament long enough and honestly enough that something beautiful will happen when we least expect it, “the dark clouds of despair part, and through the parting, we catch a glimpse of the sun.” I’d suggest changing the spelling of ‘sun’ to ‘Son’ because when we get a picture of Jesus and the magnitude of the salvation we receive through him, it will be hard to contain the joy we feel.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.