God designed us all for wonder!
This powerful emotion arrests our attention over SomeOne great, extraordinary, beyond our ability to grasp.
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law (Psalm 119:18).
Disappointment in God, however, often swallows up our wonder and tip-toe expectation for what God has for us. In Psalm 13 (see previous post), David expresses his deep disappointment in God because He failed to act when and how David expected. With David’s raw emotions of disappointment, we can honestly discover our own pain and honestly lean into God to embrace our hurt with a process to launch us into breakthrough growth through praise.
Let me begin with a brief overview of all 150 Psalms.
God’s solution in Psalm 13 to disappointment in God lies in the Psalms as a whole. The majority of the Psalms fall into one of three categories, lament (complaint), petition (prayer), or worship (praise/thanksgiving).
Lament is the voice of raw emotions when we feel that God failed to come to our rescue;
Petition is the voice of asking since we are aware of needs beyond what we can meet ourselves;
Worship is the voice of enthusiastic love, returning the wonder and awe to our lives.
And in this one extraordinary Psalm of only six verses, Psalm 13 provides a powerful model for how to recover our wonder and our expectant hope for the future. Especially when God seems silent.
As you read the Psalm, listen for two verses each of the voice of lament, the voice of petition and the voice of praise.
1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
O LORD, how long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes,
or I will sleep in death,4 and
my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and
my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
How Psalm 13: Personal Impact
First personal impact, Psalm13 has provided me with language to express to God the whole range of my emotions.
I feel these emotions. Yet it’s tough for me to put them into words. Psalms gives us permission to express the whole range of human emotions, from deep despair to restful petition and exultant praise. Psalms lends me language. As an aside, if we cut off expressing our deep despair, we will also block the experience of the exultant joy available to us. They seem to be tied together.
Second personal impact, lament gives me permission to wobble when life slaps me around like a hockey puck, especially when God seems silent.
As someone who has walked with Jesus for a long time, it’s still OK when I feel sorry for myself…if I bring this self-focus in all its rawness quickly to God. I don’t first need to get my act together. I don’t have to first clean up. God can handle my raw feelings, even when they are not accurate, just so they are honest.
Third personal impact, for David, and even more for us, God is our BFF.
He is our best Friend forever, and friends openly share. Do you have such an intimate relationship with Him? Do you long for one? He offers Himself to you this morning.
Fourth personal impact, Psalm 13 has become my life-posture, a model to melt into His embrace.
David teaches me how to “bounce well” when I begin to spiral down. No event or circumstance can come into my life where I must keep spiraling down. None! Since God designed us as worshippers in Genesis 1 prior to the Fall, “we become what we behold.” All of Scripture is an invitation for us as believers to end up as quickly as possible in worship.
- If I’m struggling, I embrace Him with lament and move through petition to celebrate God in
- When I’m in need, I embrace petition and move to celebrate God in
- If I’m soaring through life in this season with the wind filling my sails, begin by celebrating God in praise.
Did you notice that all our life then always ends in worship?
Where are you in your life today?
As we close, take a moment to reflect. Get in a receptive posture. For me, I normally need to shut my eyes to block out my surroundings. I often place my palms up in a receptive posture. Reflect.
In every time of life, we have the choice between two parties.
We can drink the bitter dregs at our pity-party, or
feast at God’s banquet table in the midst of our enemies of disappointment and failure, loss and pain (Psalm 23).
Choose to lean into the Father, Son and Spirit. God is for you and loves you more than you can imagine. Our Family-of-Three is the gravitational pull of our lives.
Where do you need the Lord most at this moment?
Our God is a God of surprise. He wants to surprise you now with the extent of His love for you.
God wants to lay new train tracks in you life for a new train of thought.
Turn disappointment with God into wonder!
If this Psalm has touched you in any way, why not begin reading through the Psalms regularly, one Psalm a month and it takes 90 days; 5 Psalms a day and only one month. I wrote Discover Yourself in the Psalms a companion to walk you through the Psalms, with very short pointed helps (or find it on my Books Page).