My Soul Refused To Be Comforted
“In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; in the night my hand was stretched out without weariness; my soul refused to be comforted.” Psalms 77:2
Our verse today expresses the deep concern that many of us know but we don’t want to talk about. It’s when we have prayed and prayed and prayed, and it seems like God is not there. Nothing happens. We pour our hearts out day and night, and nothing. And, as our verse states, “my soul refused to be comforted.”
When that happens, we start checking for a reason. Maybe I’m not doing something right. Maybe God is upset with me. Maybe I have not been as diligent as I should have. We run all these checks through our minds and wonder why we can’t find peace and comfort from the Lord. Why is it that the Lord doesn’t answer our prayers?
There are some thoughts we need to remember:
First, God is not working on the same schedule or timetable as we are. We get impatient. We want answers now. And, part of that is just because of the culture we are in. We want things now. We send packages through a company called Federal EXPRESS. The phone company is called SPRINT. We manage finances on a program called QUICKEN. We diet on Slim FAST. Do you see what that does to us? Express. Sprint. Quick. Fast. And, we want God to operate that way for us. We want answers RIGHT NOW.
But, God does not operate that way. He has His own timetable. “In His time,” is more than a wonderful hymn, it’s a reminder that God doesn’t keep time as we do. So, we pray and nothing. That doesn’t mean God didn’t hear. It doesn’t mean that God is not already doing things. When the prophet complained that nothing was being done, God said, “Observe. Be astonished. Wonder. Because I am doing something in your days.” Habakkuk just didn’t see it. And, the same may be true of us. The answer to your prayer may be just over the horizon and God is busy doing things and you just can’t see it.
Second, as difficult as it is to realize this, “No,” is an answer. It’s not the answer we want. It’s not what we prayed for. Sometimes when a person feels like God hasn’t answered, He actually has. They just didn’t accept the answer God provided. We must remember that we work for God, not the other way around.
Third, the waiting on the Lord builds patience and it makes us trust Him. Patience is hard. Patience is more than just waiting. It’s not unraveling on the inside while we are waiting. Patience is trusting. And, we sure could use a truckload of patience these days. Notice impatient drivers as they wait in construction zones. Some will drive through the grass. Some will turn around right in front of a “No U-turn” sign. Some get upset and frustrated.
One of the things that helped this weary Psalmist was remembering. Three times that word is used in this chapter.
- I will remember my songs in the night (6)
- I shall remember the deeds of the Lord (11)
- Surely, I will remember Your wonders of old (11)
And, just what will that trip down memory lane do for a person? He will see that God has been there. He will see that God takes care of His people. He will see that when it seems God’s people were put away and forgotten, God remembered. God remembered Noah who was held tight in the ark. God remembered Peter when the prison doors were shut. God remembered His people when the Egyptian oppression became extreme. God remembered. And, now the Psalmist remembered that God remembered.
Maybe the soul ought to be comforted if it was wrapped around the promises of God. Waiting on God is a great lesson for us.
by Roger Shouse