“How long will this go one?” It’s a question on many of our minds as we continue to fight the present pandemic. When is it going to end? If we could only see a light at the end of the tunnel—a tangible stopping point—it would make our situation much more bearable. Yet, as it stands, no one really knows the answer as to when this will be over. That’s tough.
We aren’t the only ones who ask this question, in Psalm 13 David asked it as well:
“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” (1-2)
We may not view the coronavirus as an enemy, but in many ways it is. So, we too might ask God, “How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” How long will this insidious foe have its way with my work week, my social life, and my health? Some even view this present moment as a means of judgment on the nations. Maybe so. David viewed his situation as one where God hid his face; that is, the Lord was turning away from his plight and forgoing salvation. There are times within history when God allows such things to happen, yet we need to be cautious about interpreting its meaning or purpose.
Yet, even in his ongoing struggle, David doesn’t give up. He knows that there is one element which last longer than his enemy: the steadfast love of the Lord.
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.” (5-6)
This virus may last the year, but eventually, it will fade away; some new crisis will rise up, and it too will pass away after ravaging our world. Yet, through all of this, there is one eternal reality: the love of God. David is so convinced of the reliability of God’s love that he suddenly is reminded of how blessed he is, even in the midst of struggle. His mind’s eye turns to bounty rather than how bereft he is. What a wonderful comfort to think that we can access such peace when we truly meditate on the unfading quality of God’s benevolent care.
Still, it’s important to remember that David’s questioning of “How long” doesn’t diminish his confidence in God’s love. There will be moments in life when we question God’s presence and action due to difficult circumstances. Doubts arise in even in the most faithful hearts when we are faced with tragedy. Thankfully, God is always there; steadfast, reliable, and faithfully loving us through every crisis.