“How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” Psalm 13:1 (NIV)
When the doctor walked into the room, I tucked my book into my bag. Looking back, God had been preparing me for weeks for the news I would receive at that final checkup.
I was carrying my second child, a little girl, but there were serious problems. A month earlier, during what should have been a normal ultrasound, we discovered our baby had chromosomal defects and would probably not make it. Oh, how we cried and prayed. We asked for a miracle. We prayed for God to heal that little girl in my womb, to make everything right in her body.
We had struggled with infertility, and I had been so happy to be carrying a child.
Sadly, during that somber appointment between Christmas and New Year’s Day, we confirmed her little heart had stopped beating. I was 26 weeks along.
God had not answered our prayers in the way we had wanted. I repeated David’s cries in Psalm 13:1, “How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”
Psalm 13 has the heading, “For the director of music. A psalm of David.” This psalm of venting “how long” to God was to be taught to the people — to be part of the official hymnal of the nation of Israel. Isn’t this amazing? Apparently, God isn’t disappointed with or angered by honest venting — and even encourages it!
When our dreams are put on hold or ended, we have this example from David of pouring his heart out honestly to God. When we feel like God has forgotten about us, we can remember that the famous King David, the man after God’s own heart, felt forgotten too.
But David doesn’t park in the ache. He transitions to asking God for help in verse 3, “Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes …” (NIV). He wanted God to put the light back in his eyes.
Psalm 13 concludes with verses 5-6 (NIV), “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.”
David aches, then he asks, then he sings.
Even though he felt forgotten and forsaken, David trained himself to remember God’s goodness. Perhaps he remembered defeating the giant Goliath, (1 Samuel 17) or God’s deliverance when King Saul tried to pin him to the wall with a spear. (1 Samuel 19:9-10) Even though his circumstances hadn’t changed, David’s heart was changing. He was dwelling on the goodness of God.
When our hopes and dreams don’t come to fruition the way we imagined, God welcomes our venting and crying.
For a long time after that doctor’s appointment, I cried in the bathroom as I tried in vain to put on makeup. I cried when I sang worship songs in church. I questioned God about His plan for our family. Psalm 13 proves God is ready for our honesty. We can ask Him for help and sing praise by faith (or if we can’t muster the faith, we can sing simply because of who He is).
After delivering my heaven-bound little girl, I picked up that Christian living book I’d been reading in the waiting room. God spoke to me through this book, asking me to have faith in Him, be sure in what I believed about Him and myself, and persevere. I asked God to help me. I sang worship songs at church, at home, in the shower, in the car. Friends, I can say honestly that God put the light back in my eyes.
To this day, I still remember my sweet baby girl now with Jesus. But one year after losing that baby, I was back at the hospital during the Christmas season. But this time, it was to deliver a seven-pound, healthy baby girl. Noelle is 14 years old now, a freshman in high school. She’s a living, breathing testament of God’s goodness in my life.
Now when trouble comes my way, I look at my daughter and remember God’s goodness. I will trust for the future, because I know what God has done in my past.
Dear Jesus, You are the one who lifts me up. Thank You for listening to me and comforting my heart. I place my hope in You. In Your great love, God, answer me with Your sure salvation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Psalm 27:13, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (NIV)
Psalm 69:16, “Answer me, LORD, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me.” (NIV)
Do you have a writer friend in your life who would be overjoyed to open up a gift certificate to COMPEL Training on Christmas morning? Or maybe YOU are that writer who would love if someone gave you a membership to COMPEL. Click here to purchase a COMPEL gift certificate today, or add it to your Christmas list! Don’t want to wait for Christmas morning to start taking advantage of all the invaluable teachings and resources available to COMPEL members? COMPEL registration is open today only! Click here to join!
It’s easy to dwell on negative things in the media instead of thinking about what is true, noble and beautiful. Arlene Pellicane has a new book, Screen Kids, to help you use technology differently and more positively in your home. Co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman, Screen Kids has the latest research, practical solutions and compelling reasons to become a screen-wise family in the new year.
Visit Arlene’s Instagram or Facebook to see photos of that Christmas when she was pregnant and also of her daughter now.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
Maybe you’ve been praying about something, but it seems like God is not answering. What have you been praying for?
What are some visual reminders of the goodness of God for you? Share them with us in the comments!
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