Psalm 139:7-8 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
A neighbor stopped Scott and I on our nightly walk a few nights back. He wanted to apologize for being stand-off-ish. Frankly, neither Scott nor I had noticed. In fact, we would classify this man as just the opposite. He is the kind of neighbor who is always ready with a kind word or gesture and shrugs off any gratitude directed his way.
This magnanimous neighbor went on to explain he had experienced a near total hearing loss in a matter of a few short weeks. What he was saying made no sense. How could that be?
A virus attacked his body wreaking havoc on his ear by destroying all the minuscule hairs in the inner ear which make sound reception possible. Without those, he was left in a world with very little sound.
Today's passage is Psalm 10. One of the things I appreciate about the Psalms is the various authors dare to ask questions the rest of us only think. This particular Psalm opens with the inquiry, "Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?"
All of us have thought that at some point in our faith journey. There has been a moment when things seemed impossibly tough and it seemed God was no where to be found. We have a crisis of faith and wonder if God has abandoned us as He did Jesus on the cross 2,000 years ago.
I wonder if my neighbor thinks God has forgotten him? The Creator who spoke galaxies into existence surely could have preserved the hearing of a man so humble he didn't even register the praise given him. He did not.
When did you wonder if God had left you?
Did God walk out along with your spouse?
Did your soul empty with your womb?
Did the unthinkable make God a figment of your imagination?
Later in the passage, the Psalmist answers his own question along with ours. "You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry."
Our pain is not unseen. Our cries are not unheard. God knows our hurt and feels our every pain deeper than we ever could.
Jesus, in the bleakest moment, You are still the Son who shines in our darkness. Your arms of love reach down to us at our lowest. You hear. You encourage. You listen. You are with me - 24/7/365.