“How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?” (Psalm 89:46a).
Psalm 89 brings to a close Book III of the Psalms. It is a royal psalm that begins and ends in praise. In the middle of Psalm 89 there is both a deep resolve to affirm the promises of God and a deep cry to affirm the seemingly absence of God. Affirmation and absence are part of the human condition. And while it is easy to affirm the presence of God in moments of joy and celebration, how do we account for the seemingly silence of God? “How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?”
Where is God as war rages among the people of Ukraine? Where is God in the world’s mounting refugee crisis? Where is God when a friend’s routine gallbladder surgery turns up Stage 4 Pancreatic cancer? Where is God when the world grows dark and silent as Jesus the Messiah lingers unto death on a cross?
If I was preaching a sermon, I would answer those questions with the promise of resurrection, new life, and new creation. I have always believed that God makes all things new, and I still do.
But I also think there is some wisdom in lingering with the questions of God’s silence. In lingering in places that offer no easy and trite answers. In lingering with Jesus on the cross. So, let’s just leave it there for now. As we continue to linger a bit longer in this Season of Lent.