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How long must I be confused and miserable all day? How long will my enemies keep beating me down? Psalm 13:2 (CEV)

It’s a question we all ask. It comes in a variety of ways, for a variety of reasons. But its meaning and source are the same.

How long will my loved one have to suffer from this cancer? How long will I have to endure a marriage that isn’t fulfilling for me or the kids? How long will this job hunt last? How long will I have to wait for that doctor’s report? How long will this addiction keep me enslaved? How long…?

We can try to find things to take our focus off the question. Some of our activities to try to take our focus off the question are noble. We volunteer. We go to church. We enter some ministry to help others. But when we go home at night, in the silence of our own minds the question lurks.

Sometimes we try other things that aren’t quite so noble. We have an affair. We turn to drugs or alcohol. We blame God. We worry. Wait, worry? Is it fair to list worry in the same paragraph as affairs, drugs or blaming God? Sadly, yes. For worry is just another way we say (unintentionally perhaps) that God can’t or won’t take care of you for whatever the reason.

The question hounds us relentlessly. Day and night it lurks in the shadows waiting for an opportune time to attack. A time when our minds, weary from trying to avoid the question lets its guard down. That’s when the enemy attacks.

The enemy, of course, is Satan and we must never lose sight of the fact that celebrates those times when he can keep us subdued. He and is wicked cohorts give each other high fives when we focus so much on the question that we lose sight of the only one who can give the answer.

He’s ruthless too. He not only uses his own mind-bending tactics to attack your soul and mind, he uses people. Sometimes he coerces good church-going people who kick you when you are down in the name of Jesus. Other times he uses evil people intent on causing you harm. Physical harm is bad enough, but those bruises will heal. Emotional bruises on the other hand are hidden from view and take years to heal, if ever.

How long? The answer is two-fold. First of all, our deliverance will come in a time that is best for us. Secondly, the answer will only come from a vibrant faith in God that says, regardless of how long I suffer, I put my trust in thee.

PRAYER: Father, in the midst of my despair, confusion and frustration I confess I’ve lost my focus. I’m focusing so much on the question that I’m crippled from finding you, or the answer for that matter. I thank you that you see my very soul and that you are with me even when I can’t find you. Amen.

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March 2012
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