Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Psalm 42 NIV
For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.
1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng. 5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God. 6 My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8 By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” 10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior, and my God.
— What causes God to feel far away at times?
Lord, I love You. I trust You. When life is going well, I go to church and soak up Your Word and sing your praises and feel content. But life is not always comfortable. Sometimes there are health problems, relationship challenges, financial struggles, or personal conflicts. There are daunting situations that shake me to my very core. There are times I am puzzled about what You are up to and wonder if You haven’t forgotten me because nothing seems to be happening in the way I expect. My first response is to pray to You and believe that You hear my prayers. But as time goes on and I have to wait for answers, my trust falters, my strength weakens and my hope begins to crack. I cry out and beg for Your intervention but You are quiet. I need to wait. Waiting is the most difficult time, it is unsettling. Even if You would tell me, no, at least I know what I am dealing with and can move on. But when I wait I feel alone. It feels like You have left me. I know that Your plan is best and Your timing is perfect but the waiting time is crippling. I become restless and discouraged. Though it feels that You have forgotten me, I know the reality that You are the greatest security on which I can stand. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on You and keep trusting and obeying You through all the struggles, trials, and temptation. I hold fast to my hope in You and continue to praise You even when You seem far away. I need to remain in Your Word and cling to You in my times of waiting. Give me the patience. Open my eyes to see what You are doing in my life as I wait. Thank you that even when I doubt Your goodness, You direct your love towards me. Help me to keep trusting and obeying you in good times and in bad times and in all times. I rejoice in what you are doing, whether I like it, and understand it or not as an act of obedience and a sacrifice of praise. You are my Savior and my God. Amen