How Long, O Lord?


We went on a family trip to Ireland when I was a child, I don’t remember a lot, but I remember the weather getting progressively worse, the boat listing from side to side and crockery smashing - pretty entertaining for a kid! But my main memory is that my parents seemed concerned, which suggested to me that this might be more serious than I realised. The idea that they knew this was something they had no control over, and that they might not be able to protect me from, was the scariest part.

That was the first time I had seen that fallibility in my parents. Now I’m a parent, I realise more and more that there are a lot of things I have simply no control over and I can’t protect our daughter from.

In Chapter 8 of Matthew's Gospel, the disciples were out in a boat with Jesus when a storm arose, and they woke a sleeping Jesus saying “Lord, save us!” Jesus’ response was to ask them “Why are you so afraid?”  he then got up and calmed the storm. They were never in danger, the creator and sustainer of the universe was there with them and was always in control.

The song below, written with this event in mind and the using the words of Psalm 13, cries out to God for help in a situation when it feels like he’s not there; “How long will you hide your face from me?” and when doubt creeps in; “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts?”. Yet in the song, as in the Psalm, we have words to remind ourselves what to do “I will trust in your unfailing love”.

Even when it feels like everything is falling apart and the waves are crashing over us, God graciously gives us words like this psalm to sing. God is still in control, his love is unfailing and we can rejoice in his salvation.