How Long?….

     If you have a professional license or certification, you’re familiar with the acronym CEU—Continuing Education Unit. For the past few months, I have been working on CEU’s to satisfy my coaching re-certification. Currently, I’m taking a course called Spiritual Development Coaching.

     In a recent session, the instructor asked a two-part question. I knew one answer and was quite surprised by the answer I did not know.

  • The first question was: What is the most frequently asked question in the Bible?
  • The second: What is the command most frequently given in Scripture.

     The answer to the first, which is the one I did not know, is How Long? The answer to the second is: Fear Not, or Do Not Be Afraid!

     Most “How long?” questions in the Bible occur in the Psalms. I love the amazing honesty the psalmists had with God! Here are a few examples, all taken from NIV[1]:

  1. Psalm 6:3

          My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord,how long?

  1. Psalm 13:1

          Howlong, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

  1. Psalm 13:2

          How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?           Howlong will my enemy triumph over me?

  1. Psalm 74:10

          Howlong will the enemy mock you, God? Will the foe revile your name forever?

  1. Psalm 90:13

          Relent, Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants.

  1. Psalm 94:3

          How long, Lord, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant?

  1. Psalm 119:84

          How long must your servant wait?

     The psalmists were God-believing. They understood their God was almighty and able to help them. Yet, they waited…and waited…and waited. It didn’t seem fair, and they let God know. I don’t imagine many reading this post have never faced a “How-Long?” situation.

     When this is the case, how can we switch gears and obey the number one command to “Fear Not?”

     I’d love to hear from you. How have you managed to not be afraid during a “how-long?” season. Your experience may be the encouragement someone needs during this turbulent time.

Prayer:

God Who Was, and Is, and Always Will Be,

During difficult times that feel as if they will never end,

Give me the grace necessary to “Fear Not!”

Quiet my anxious spirit and give me courage to keep moving forward with confidence,

Giving thanks for Who You are and having confidence to trust Whose I am.

Amen

Asking God to bless you with strength and courage…

Sue Reeve

  1. Verses found on biblegateway.com, a free app that is an excellent resource

1 thought on “How Long?….

  1. Sue, I’d have to say what helps me to “fear not” is to bring to my mind two of my favorite Scriptures: Proverbs 3: 5-6 and Philippians 4: 4-7. Another one that comforts me is Jeremiah 29:11 (in grad school, it was in bold red letters in my financial aid folder!). In many ways, I consider myself a “baby” Christian in trying to discern what the Lord’s will for my life is and oddly enough, sometimes my question becomes “How long, Lord before you show me what you want me to do?” When that happens, I go right back to my “go to” Scriptures! I can just hear the Lord laughing and shaking His head when I do that! I love that He has a sense of humor when it comes to my human frailties!

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