"How long, O Lord, will you look on? How long will you hide your face[…]? You have seen, O Lord, do not be silent! O Lord, do not be far from me! Wake up!" - Psalm 35:17, 2-23
You’re watching a movie, and one of the main characters is in real trouble. They’re trapped, about to have all doom-and-gloom descend upon them, and you sit there wondering when the real hero or heroine of the movie is going to show up and save them (and so is the character in trouble). In this particular movie, no one shows up, and the poor character’s storyline comes to an abrupt end.
Then you remember...this character had everything they needed to get out of the kind of trouble they found themselves in. Instead, the plot had them making all sorts of ridiculous decisions that just made their predicament worse and ultimately they forgot they had all they needed to get themselves out of it but didn’t. As the audience, it drives us nuts.
I have to imagine that God feels that way about us a good deal of the time. We sit here in the problems we’ve created for ourselves and cry out “How long?!?!?” and God looks right back at us and asks the same question: “That’s right, Humanity: how long, indeed?”
The reality is, God is not far from us...ever. God exists right here, right now, within and between us all. If we want God to “wake up” then it is our responsibility to wake up, too. When we awaken to the power and the presence of the Divine within us, God’s presence becomes manifest in the world. If we keep it dormant and asleep, how does it have a chance to make the difference in the world that we seek?
Jesus reminds us in Luke that the Kingdom of God is within or among us. It isn’t somewhere distant and far away. If we don’t perceive that Kingdom, that has far more to do with our own decisions and conduct than God being somehow blind to our needs. As much as the Kingdom is within us, so are the answers to our problems.
“How long, O Lord….?”
“As long as you let it.”
God of Power and Patience, remind us that you are always with us, and often the answers to life’s problems rest right here within each of us.