“Remember Your word to your servant, in which You have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your promise gives me life.”
Psalm 119:49-50 ESV
It’s 4 days ’til Christmas. The anticipation is building. The wait continues–closer now than ever before.
Yet as I read the plea from the writer in the Psalms, it brought up a deeper emotion of waiting during this season …waiting for that healing …waiting for that reconciliation in a relationship or situation …waiting for that promise to be fulfilled over your son or daughter or that loved one who continues to struggle …not-yet-fixed or worse yet, seemingly not-fixable.
Waiting is hard. Days can turn into months and months can turn into years. Light seems to flicker off and on. Will this story ever be resolved? Is there really anything to the message of hope or is that just a mean and cruel phrase we use to make ourselves feel better or to take the pressure off truly immersing ourselves into someone else’s pain?
Have we ventured to read the “even if” clause? …or are we denying the reality of a possible different outcome? …and that the “best” from the Creator of all may not be the “best” from our created scenario?
Yet David cries to his Father God, ” Remember Your word to your servant in which You have made me hope!” There must have been some promise …some word of hope that God had given him and he was sure to remind God of this promise just in case He had forgotten. David was banking on it with his very life. If You don’t come through, I’m through!
He wasn’t afraid to wrestle his faith out with God. He was beyond worrying that this might be heresy or not acceptable in the Christian community. His relationship with his heavenly Father was real and raw. I love that !
For all his glory days, he knew the glory of the Lord was the true source of any strength and power. Let’s face it, his dearest friends and even family members had betrayed him. God was the only Companion who had never left him …a “stay-with” friend.
In the midst of his suffering or angst or frustration, there must have been a promise from God and on this promise he was clinging to with every fiber of his being. He wouldn’t let go and he wouldn’t let God forget (as if that were even possible ! ).
Something had brought a cloud of darkness or depression or disease or distress over his spirit but there was some “best-is-yet-to-come” hope still giving him life in the “even-now” and “even though” moments.
Something God must have whispered to him gave him HOPE…MADE him hope, he says … and this hope gave him COMFORT…and this comfort gave him LIFE.
Affliction and suffering can suck the life right out of you. Hope-filled oxygen gives life.
And I needed to read this verse on a particular morning when sadness was coming over me like a dark cloud. I needed to be reminded that, yes, God had given me a promise and I went back to that promise for another dose of hope. And comfort came …and it was life-giving.
And I thought maybe somebody out there …maybe even you — needed to hear this today as well. Maybe the wait has been long and you’re weary from the struggle. Maybe it seems God has forgotten you or forgotten that “promise” He made to you. Maybe you feel the wait is so long you can’t bear it another day. Please take heart, my friend. Grab the oxygen mask of hope that is always available to you in the upper compartment. Breath in the life-giving truth that God has not abandoned you. He has not forgotten you. His sees you and He loves you to death …truly!
Waiting is no fun. Endurance seems to wane. I know. I feel it at times myself; but my hope lies in this …God loves me with a love that is never-ending and He cannot deny that love to me. He has promised to always be with me and see me or the one I love through the storm. He can’t go back on His promise. I would say, “I’m holding Him to that,” but in reality, He’s been holding me through it all along.
Be encouraged my friend. A great Light has dawned. Christmas is coming. I think I see it even now!
“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone…
For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken …
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end …”
from the Christmas message of hope in Isaiah 9:1-7 (ESV)