When you are walking through a dark valley of the soul or when the circumstances in your life are not making sense, it’s vital to ask the right questions.
In Psalm 73, the people, in the midst of difficult and seemingly unfair life situations, are dismayed and confused. “Does God realize what is going on?” they ask. “Is the Most High even aware of what is happening?” (Psalm 73:11, New Living Translation).
This is the question many people still ask today, especially those who follow God from arms length, the Sunday-morning church-goers who have never counted the cost of being a disciple of Jesus. People look at their circumstances and ask, “Where is God in all this?” But when we, even we who have counted the cost and are walking in a trusting relationship with God, ask such a question, it reveals our own hearts.
When I am walking closely with God–making my relationship with him my #1 priority; spending time with him each day to hear what he wants to say to me that day; loving him with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind; trusting him regardless of my circumstances; delighting in him and in his presence with me–I don’t ask that question. I know God knows what is going on, because I’ve talked to him about it, and I know he was listening.
I know he is aware of what is happening because I know he is indeed the Sovereign Lord who knows everything. I know he cares about the situation because I know he is my loving Father; he is a compassionate shepherd who wants to give us peace and rest. I know he can change the circumstances if he chooses to, because he is all powerful. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still have questions. I do.
And so this raises the question that I do ask: God, I don’t understand. In my human understanding, I don’t know how this is all going to work out and I can’t see how you are working in this. What are you doing? How are you going to work all this out for the good of those who really love you and are called according to your purposes? Please, Lord, show me just a sliver of your plan and purpose. Regardless,, Lord, help me to hang on and to continue to trust in you, to continue to trust in your timing.
The interesting thing is that these questions actually draw me even closer to God, which, I believe, is part of God’s big-picture purpose when we walk through these dark valleys. “Yet I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand” (v. 23)!