By: Edward Cortez
To be forgotten and never to be remembered can be the worst feeling in the world. Ask the homeless man on the street and he could probably tell us that it’s not the absence of a dwelling place that’s squeezing the life out of him but it’s the overpowering feeling of being abandoned by family and friends. Or perhaps we can ask a elderly person in a care home what it feels like for someone who has never been visited by a loved one for years. The feelings of loneliness and despair can be overwhelming.
David experienced more than this. He felt that his only Source of life and joy has deserted him! Let’s listen in to his words, “How Long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?” (verse 1). We may still bear the pain of being forgotten by humans but to have the gnawing feeling that the God of hope and mercy has deserted us may yet be far tougher to the soul than it can ever stand anything else. For where do we turn to if God is no longer around?
Indeed, there are moments in our lives when we feel as if God is absent and has forgotten us especially during times of great physical, emotional, and spiritual need when our burden seems too overwhelming. Like David, we become anxious, frantic, and restless having “sorrow in my heart daily” (verse 2).
Feeling forsaken, David’s anguished soul is crying out, “Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death” (verse 3). In other words, David is saying, “I am going to die if I don’t hear from you, God!”
How do we regain our spiritual footing when life pushes us to the edge, and we feel abandoned and forgotten?
The latter part of Psalm 13 gives us the answer. After commiserating with himself, David reawakens and picks himself up. First, he reaffi rms his trust in the mercy of God, “But I have trusted in your mercy” (verse 5a). Second, he reminds himself of the great salvation that he has, “My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation” (verse 5b). And then thirdly, he looks back and remembers all the good things that God has done in his life, “I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me” (verse 6).
God’s mercy reminds us that God has not forgotten us. We experience it every day. Our salvation has put to rest the issue of our eternal destiny. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies” (John 11:25). We may experience great trouble for our souls while on earth, but our souls are eternally secure in God’s hands. When we look back at how the Lord has dealt bountifully with us, we can still rejoice and have a song in our heart no matter how bleak our present circumstances may be.
No, God has not forgotten us. When we hear the chirping of the birds in the morning and see the dazzling beauty of nature around us, they remind us that we are way too precious to be forgotten by a God who created and breathed life into all of us.