S8P4 – The journey of Psalm 143: the search

Psalm 143:7

Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.

There are two ways we can view the times when we feel that God is hiding from us. Some will see it as a dark and desolate period with a focus on feelings of abandonment and confusion. They will wallow in the apparent absence of God and allow self-pity to take hold. Others will be comforted by the fact that they noticed when God seemed to disappear, and this will cause them to seek Him more. They will see this as a time to draw nearer to God in a more intentional way and to practice patient hope in His reappearance.

David is the latter. And when he calls out to God to show His face, David recognizes the importance of his dependence on Him. He knows that we reside in a world of spiritual dichotomy, where the only two options are to be eternally with God or eternally without God. If the Lord’s apparent disappearance is His actual disappearance, then David has no hope. He asks God for an answer to his prayer in order to confirm that He is still there. The urgency here is due to David’s spirit losing steam. If God has truly gone from him, then he is lost.

David’s recognition that God appears to have left him shows his desire to have God present. His understanding of what an existence without God brings then makes him desire that presence even more. Absence indeed makes the heart grow fonder. Sometimes we need to feel the absence of God before we recognize how much we desperately want and need His presence. This is a beautiful realization. When God hides His face, find solace in the fact that you desire to see it again. Father, we pray that you keep Your face in view, but if You need to hide from us for us to draw nearer to You, keep us committed to seeking You until we see Your face again.