Did you ever ask yourself this question when you were facing a serious situation in your life, “How long, Lord?” We actually begin to wonder how long is the “how long” stage? How long does the grieving continue? When does the pain go away? When does the healing really take place? When do the tears actually stop? When will the victory come? When will I get over this? When will I break free from this addiction? When will I get this job? When will I move from here? When will I get married? When will I experience victory in my marriage? There could be so many different types of questions that someone could struggle with at a time. At least we know through the scriptures a documented case where a man accurately cried this out as well and we can learn from it.
In Psalm 13:1-2 “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long, will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart DAILY? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?”
David was running for his life from a man that wanted to kill him. So how long did this actually take for David? This was actually 8 years that David was running from King Saul. This was some journey for David. He was 22 years old when he ran for his life and didn’t take the throne as king of Jerusalem until he was 30. What an escape and lesson for him to learn that this would happen in God’s time. As long as it takes for him to continually take comfort in God.
We all have to continue through our own journey. The web version of the dictionary defines journey as traveling from one place to another; usually taking a rather long time; trip; a distance or course or area traveled or suitable for traveling; a period of travel passage or progress from one stage to another; a direction or route taken or to be taken; the path, route or channel along which anything moves; advance or progression in a particular direction; forward or onward movement; the continuous passage or progress through time or succession of stages.
Did you know that even if you feel like you are moving backwards that it is also part of the journey? As outlined in the definition it says progression in a particular direction – any onward movement. You see, when you are going backwards there is still movement. This is a part of your journey [succession of stages] to get you from one place to the next. I am sure David didn’t feel like he was moving forward when he was eating dinner with the king at the palace and then found himself running from cave to cave. Then he ended up taking residence in Ziklag for 4 years, which was not the promise of “King over Jerusalem” at all. Imagine how long this really seemed for David. This was approximately 2,920 days of him asking this question. For everyday he woke, he was probably thinking, “Is this the day?” I can picture him yelling out, “YOU SAID, I would be king! But they said I am going to DIE! Because King Saul wants me dead! Who do I believe?”
Life sometimes throws us curve balls. We don’t know where we are coming or going sometimes especially when we have “heard from God”. We don’t know when we are going to come into our promise. We learned that God has huge plans for us but our circumstance is saying something else. One thing that we do discover is that it will happen on God’s timing. Just as the word declares in Isaiah 55:11 “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” So just sit tight and wait. Enjoy the journey as much as you can. You learn a lot of things during the journey that prepares you more for the promise. We learn how to trust in God, we learn how to pray, we learn how to understand the scriptures, we learn how to strengthen ourselves in God, we learn how to improve things in our lives, we learn who our true friends are and we learn where we really need to be and what adds value to our lives.
So let’s find the benefit in all the stages of the journey and just praise Him while we wait! There is a value and purpose in all of that. In times of darkness we learn to appreciate more when we come to the light.