Tongues AfireWhen have you recently endured the wound of another person’s words?
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O Lord, how long will You forget me? Forever? (v.1).
One day, a taxi dropped world-renowned cellist
Yo-Yo Ma off at New York City’s Peninsula
Hotel. But as the cab drove off, Yo-Yo realized
he had left his cello in its backseat. It was worth 2.5
million dollars! The hotel staff jumped to action. As
one reporter put it, they “put on their own virtuoso
performance, contacting officials all over town in order
to track down the missing instrument.” After the cello was
returned unharmed, I suspect that Yo-Yo resolved never
to forget it again.
The psalmist echoed a lamenting prayer, wondering
if God had forgotten him. “How long . . .?” he asked
(v.1). In his words, we hear the ache of a long season of
disappointment, accompanied by doubts that perhaps—
this time—God will not act. His life is in turmoil, and
God, it seems to him, is merely looking “the other way”
(v.1). He thinks, Perhaps this time God has finally and
completely forgotten me.
A plain, poignant question resonates with many of us:
“How long must I struggle?” (v.2). How long will our
finances be a constant battle? How long will our kids
make poor choices? How long will our family be on the
brink of ripping apart? How long will I be alone? How
long will I struggle with this addiction? How long will I
be afraid or sick or despairing? How long?
Are we completely and forever forgotten? It’s a
terrifying question, and we’re right to wrestle with it. But then the psalmist’s
gaze returned to God, a posture of hope and dependence (v.3). And as he
remembered Him (and God’s character and God’s past action), his heart was
renewed. “I trust in Your unfailing love,” he said (v.5).
God has not forgotten us. His love will not allow that.
Look over Habakkuk 1:1. What is the source of the prophet’s “How
long . . . ?” complaint? What is the Lord’s reply? Why do you feel the
prophet took his concern to God?
Where in your life do you fear that God has forgotten you? How does
God’s character and love speak to this fear?
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