S (Scripture): Psalm 74:9 We do not see any signs of God’s presence; there are no longer any prophets and we have no one to tell us how long this will last.
O (Observation): The psalmist has experienced the Babylonian attacks and now they are pushing God’s people out of their land. This is the beginning of the exile to Babylon.
God’s people yearn for a sign from God, some real presence of God. And they wonder how long this will be.
A (Application): Ever had your world turned upside-down?
When my son was about 7, he fell off his bike and hit his head. We didn’t know he was riding. He just learned to ride his bike without training wheels.
We were about to leave town, and he thought he’d sneak in a quick ride. He wasn’t wearing his helmet.
He came stumbling into the house, calling in a distant voice, “Daddy? Mommy?” We sat him down in the bathroom, cleaned off his slightly bloody knuckles, and I looked into his eyes.
Then he said, “Daddy? Where are you? I can’t see you! I can’t see anything!”
And for the next several hours, our son was blind. I was horrified. Like the psalmist, I asked, “How long would this last?”
I immediately tried to figure out the rest of our lives with a son who was blind. What kind of schooling would he need? What special accommodations would we have to make at the house? What extra burdens would this put on us? He’s our son. We’ll make it work.
Thankfully, within a few hours, he fully regained his sight. But for those hours…I wondered…how long will this last? My faith in a God of caring and love and mercy…carried my wife and I through that terrible moment in time.
What fears have have you experienced that have led you to ask: How long would this last? How did it affect your faith? Who came around you to help you through it?
P (Prayer): Lord, you see us through the tough times and the good. Help us to know that the timetable is not our own, but yours. How long? We can’t be sure. So give us peace and patience and faith in You. Amen.