I walked into my client's office and immediately knew something was wrong. "I'm sorry, Chase, but I'm not going to have much time today." I knew him to be a busy guy but he had a serious and sad tone about him.
He went on, "To be honest, my marriage is falling apart." He looked exhausted and defeated. The only thing I could muster was, "I am so, so sorry." And I truly was. We talked for a few more brief moments, then I left.
I walked back to my car and sat in the silence. The first line of Psalm 13 immediately came to mind:
"How long, Lord?"
These words represent the longing of any and all who have suffered. The lament continues,
"Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, 'I have overcome him,' and my foes rejoice when I fall."
The Psalmist puts into words what I've often felt. I'm sure you share the same feeling in one way or another. We've all, at some point, begged the question, "How long, Lord?"
A story of this magnitude exists under the surface for many of us: a loved one with cancer, a death in the family, a broken relationship, financial struggle, disappointment, failures, depression.
Yet, even still, we choose to hope. The Psalm continues,
"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord's praise, for he has been good to me."
I think my temptation at this point is to try to wrap this post up with something hopeful or optimistic, but I think lamenting has its place.
So reader, if you are like my client and feel hopeless at the prospect of what tomorrow holds, I will say the same thing to you that I said to him...I am so, so sorry.
I really don't know if it will get any better, but I do know that when I place my trust in an unfailing love, and center my heart on goodness, I encounter joy that transcends my circumstances. And at the end of my lamenting, I can pencil in my "but..."