two things about this short but delightful psalm 13:

which begins with, ‘How long, O Lord, Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?'[vs.1]

but first a quick recap:

‘O Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!’ [psalm 3.1]

‘Give me relief from m distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.’ [psalm 4.1]

‘Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help…’ [psalm 5.1]

‘O Lord heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long?’ [psalm 6.2-3]

‘O Lord my God, I take refuge in You; save and deliver me from all who pursue me, or they will tear me like a lion.’ [psalm 7.1-2]

‘Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?’ [psalm 10.1]

‘Help Lord, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men.’ [psalm 12.1]

and so a reminder why psalms can be a good place to hang out when life seems a little bit much or we’re struggling with being a good follower of Jesus or feeling like the whole world is against us… because it seems like we’re in great company. one of the best parts of the psalms is how real they are – if we think back to prayer time in church meeting where people pick their words carefully and try sound spiritual and you’re thinking ‘man i can’t relate cos my prayer would have to be censored right now and might even knock God off His throne’ well this is the place to be. David, and some of the other writers of psalms often just let it all hang out and speak out raw, rough and real cries of how life looks at the moment…

generally they tend to head to a place of remembering or being reminded of the goodness of God even in those low places and this psalm is no different:

‘But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me.’ [vs.5-6]

so the tension exists and is able to be held together despite a possible seeming contradiction, as with a lot of Christ following things…

but the other thing i really liked about this psalm was the phrase translated as ‘How long must I wrestle with my thoughts?’ [vs. 2]

because it gives the strong implication of ‘giving time to’ and ‘really putting effort into’ something that has been called into question with this week’s Kony2012 video that went viral [which i am convinced most people who liked/shared/commented on will have forgotten about by next week] – we live in a world of instant gratification and everything is geared to being quicker and smaller and more efficient and we are not encouraged to really sink our teeth into things and seek for truth or wrestle with ideas we are not sure about and do research or engage in deep discussion on. and yet i believe that is what is often required – Jesus never promised that His way was easier or more comfortable or a quick fix to anything – usually quite the opposite – ‘follow Me and most people will hate you’ [matthew 10.22], ‘deny yourself, take up your cross [read between the lines – get ready to die!] and follow Me’ [luke 9.23] and so on… the way is narrow and few will take it [matthew 7] but it is the ones who really wrestle and hunger and offer up their lives and submit to His calling and invite Him to transform their minds [romans 12.2] who will be there to the end…

if something is meaningful and worth giving your life to, it is worth spending some wrestling time on.