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How Long, Oh Lord, How Long

A normal Thanksgiving for the Rideout family means heading to Atlantic Beach to be with Gary’s sister and her family. It is our beach getaway where we set down the stresses in our daily lives and we just live the beach life of chill and relax. Just writing about it makes me want to get in the car and head over there. But not this year. Due to COVID, we like millions of others are not with our extended family for Thanksgiving. Neither will we go Black Friday shopping, which I strangely enjoy. Lots of great deals and lots of energy with big crowds. I feel a bit embarrassed admitting I like Black Friday, but I do and this year it can only happen online. No big crowds and no energy.

When we first made this decision to stay home for Thanksgiving, the decision was based on safety. A head decision. Today my emotions are weighing in and my heart is both sad and mad. I am sad that nothing is the same this year and I am mad that nothing is the same this year. When I am discouraged, I find that the book of Psalms is a comforting place to land. Not for words of encouragement, but rather for the validation that when life is hard, I can take my complaint to God. I do not have to hold back, but I can honestly express my distress or frustration.

Psalms 6 is a great place to land when you have had it with life. It is believed that Psalms 6 was written by King David for those suffering from sickness or distress. It expresses the deep frustration we often feel when life continually knocks us down and we cannot seem to catch our breath. But it also teaches us something about a relationship with God. We can have the boldness to wrestle with God when we are frustrated. Wrestling is not disbelief. Wrestling is announcing there is a relationship there, that can handle your truth.

King David was able to wrestle with God because he had a deep conviction of God’s righteousness. When I wrestle with God, it says to me that I now know God loves me regardless of my complaint. It says to me that God cares about my feelings and he knows I am not going anywhere. I am just being real with him as he is always real with me. Psalm 6:3 says, “My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?” I do not know about you, but “How long, Lord, how long” perfectly expresses my deep distress over COVID. David also expresses the same confidence I have in God’s faithfulness, “The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.” (Psalms 6:9) However you share your truth with God, just be assured that God hears and accepts our prayers in whatever form they arrive.


Pastor Jayne


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