It had been a long night that had accompanied an even longer day. Sleep was evading me and I quietly slipped out of bed, found my favorite cozy pair of slippers, and silently tip-toed my way into our living room.
Curling up in my familiar spot on our brown micro-suede couch I reached for my Bible. With puffy eyes I cracked open God’s Word, not really knowing even where to begin reading. My heart was so broken. I had a desperate need to pray but no words could even form on my lips or in my head! I needed to hear from God! I needed to know that He saw every tear that had trickled down my cheeks, the heart-wrenching sobs that wracked my body. I needed that reassurance of knowing that He understood and was close by. At the moment all I was hearing was the lies the enemy was telling me. “Failure. Disappointment. God doesn’t really love you. If He did, then why does He continue to not answer this one simple request? You say you know He can, so why doesn’t He? He doesn’t care in fact He isn’t even listening!”
My world had been rocked. I had had so much faith in God, I believed with every ounce of my being that He was going to answer the pleas of my heart. But on this particular day, it became evident that His will and my prayers were not matching up. My heart was shattered, again.
I began searching for a familiar verse that I often share with others who are hurting, but in my search for the particular reference, I landed in Psalm 143. As my eyes scanned the verses tears pooled in my eyes and I thought, “Yes, this describes exactly how I feel!”
Psalm 143:1-4, “Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness. And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.”
Everything David was saying in this passage could be echoed in my heart. I felt beaten down by the enemy. The weight of the burden felt impossible to bear. My spirit truly was overwhelmed and yes, my heart felt desolate. “God, where are You?” was the question racing through my head.
Trials, they have a way of knocking the wind out of us sometimes, don’t they? We long to hear from God just as David exclaimed in verses 7-8, “Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.”
While in the midst of our difficulty that is when the enemy most often strikes. We are worn out, weakened by our affliction, and more prone to the attacks of our enemy. That is just how cunning and low our enemy really is. He delights in kicking us when we are down and doing his best to drive a wedge between us and our Savior.
I really believe David knew this and recognized the fingerprints of the enemy throughout his trial. I love how David ended this precious chapter. Read these next few verses with me, will you? “Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.”
Even though David was going through such heartache and felt utterly defeated, he remembered Whose he was. He remembered that no matter the lies the enemy fed him, he fought back and spoke truth to his soul and proclaimed “God, I am YOURS! Reveal that to my enemy!”
Friend, even when we don’t feel like it, even when our flesh wants to believe the lies the enemy whispers (and even shouts!) in our ears, we must remember, if we have claimed the free gift of salvation we are HIS! We must speak truth to ourselves first, even if the feelings aren’t there. Sometimes our feelings need a little bossing around, don’t they? This is something I am still learning myself! When the enemy speaks lies shout back with TRUTH!
God is there. He is here! He is with me in my trial just as He is with you in yours. He is on your mountain top and also in your valley. When we can’t sense or feel or see His presence, remember, He is still there. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. He will make beauty of our ashes, one day. He will work it together for good. In the meantime, hang on and cling to those promises! You are not alone and you belong to HIM!
Ps: If you have been encouraged by this post, please feel free to share this post!