‘Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever! Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression? For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly clings to the ground. Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!’
‘Daddy! Why are you just sitting there! Can’t you see that I need help here?!’ exclaims the boy, as he struggles to loosen a jammed zipper on his school bag. However, Daddy simply looks at him and smiles. After another minute of fumbling with the zipper, the boy grew even more impatient. ‘Get up and help me! Don’t you care that my zipper is stuck? You are so unhelpful!’ screams the frustrated boy. Just then, one final and good yank releases the stuck zipper. With that, both father and child throw their hands up in the air and celebrate with great relief – ‘yay! Woohoo!’
At times, we’re all like that little boy – fumbling with a ‘stuck zipper’ in life, seemingly unable to unstuck ourselves from a difficult situation in our work, relationship, ministry or finances. We wonder why God doesn’t help and we get upset at Him for His inaction towards our predicament.
If that is your experience, take heart that you are not alone. Psalm 44 expresses this same sentiment. With a national crisis at hand, God seemed to be absent or unwilling to help. However, instead of suppressing his feelings and frustrations, the Psalmist boldly confronted God (‘why are you sleeping?!) to make another insistent appeal for God’s help (‘rise up; come to our help!).
The Psalmist’s response provides us with some helpful and important lessons:
1. Be Honest about how you feel – Sometimes we are afraid to be honest about how we feel about God. We think that it is wrong or irreverent to do that. However, God is interested to engage our honest feelings. He is big and generous enough to handle our frustrations and honest feelings about Him.
2. Take it up with God – It is dangerous to suppress our frustrations and doubts about God. Like the Psalmist, we can take our frustrations and doubts about God… to God. When we do that, we mature and grow to know God’s character better. Many have turned away from the faith when they make their own wrong conclusions about God.
3. Trust God’s Character – We do not always see or understand, but like the Psalmist, we must always trust God’s heart: ‘redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.’
My friends, are you facing a ‘stuck zipper’ situation in your life today? Are you feeling stressed, frustrated and discouraged? It’s okay. Take all of these to God. Do not be afraid to make another strong appeal to God for help, yet in all things, trust His heart.
Jesus loves you.
Ps. Kelvin Chua