By: Chris Peterson
Readings: Judges 9:7-15; 1 John 2:18-28; Psalm 20
May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! (Psalm 20) Except . . . he usually doesn’t. That doesn’t mean he’s not there. How many times have we fallen to our knees, desperately praying God deliver us from anything from being caught in a white lie to money problems to loneliness to, like Jesus in Gethsemane, something literally threatening our lives or the lives of those we love, only to be met with silence? Times like those, the well wishes of the psalmist can seem like naïve—even cruel—jokes. We live a challenging faith that asks us to maintain belief amid evidence to the contrary. We have to find a way to be okay with the idea that we might never get the final full reveal God gave to Job or Jonah, or the given to the Apostles at Pentecost. But just as God reminded Job, Jesus assured the Apostles, and the psalmist says to us, God is with us always no matter what misfortunes befall us or how stormy the seas get. With God, the long-term outcome of suffering is always hope. Always.