Am I Even Loveable? Rivers of Faith, Part 18: Faith Tumbler - Feelings

les Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie

Forlorn, forsaken, abandoned. Does anyone even cares about me? Does God hear my pleas of despair?

She was frantic, confused and worried when we encountered her at the bottom of the trail in, the beautiful gorge of Eastern Quebec.

She recognized us from the trail, and she called out to us: "Have you seen my friends? You remember, the two guys and a girl who were about my age? I hiked on ahead of them, and now I've been waiting for them for over 1 ½ hours!"

My wife and I shook our heads. Though we had often passed each other on the upward climb, and had shared cameras from the top, we hadn't seen any of the four young people since beginning our decent.

"I hope they didn't have an accident" she stated, worry filling her voice. "You never know ... It wouldn't be possible for them to pass by and take the bus without seeing me, would it? Maybe they left me behind! Maybe I'm not important to them!"

The region we were in was isolated, with its closest town being miles away. The park was only accessible by a bus that transported tourists to designated hiking places, and now, all alone at the bottom of the trail, this poor girl had no idea what to do. Cell-phones didn't even work in this kind of wilderness!

Forlorn, forsaken, abandoned. Does anyone even cares about me? Does God hear my pleas of despair?

How often don't we feel that way? Too often we feel like a wayward child, an unimportant vapour, ready to disappear. Is there any meaning to life?

King David also confronted such emotions. "How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, 'I have overcome him,' and my foes will rejoice when I fall." (Ps 13:1-4 NIV)

Life is hard at times, and when circumstances are grim, more often than not we wonder if our God has forgotten us.

However King David did not linger on such thoughts. He was too aware that God is not the One who abandons His children, but we are the ones wandering away from Him! As soon as such thoughts came into his mind, he decided: "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me." (Ps 13:5-6 NIV)

If God truly forgot about David (verse 1) how come He really loves King David (verse 5)? If God hid His face from King David (verse 1), how could David state that God was truly good to him (verse 6)? King David was wrestling with his thoughts. The very day that brought sorrow in his heart (verse 2) was also one that called for songs of joy (verse 6). In verse 2, King David said that his enemy was triumphing over him, but in verse 5 he said he rejoiced in God's salvation. How can we explain such contradictions? But then, how often don't we contradict ourselves as well?

Forlorn, forsaken, abandoned. Does anyone even care about me? Does God hear my cry of despair?

How many times haven't we entertained such thoughts? But honestly, do we truly believe, deep inside our hearts that God does not love us?

These inconsistencies in Psalm 13, as well as those in our lives, are basically the difference between our feelings and our beliefs. King David, just like we do oftentimes, felt that God had forgotten about him, while at the same time he was convinced that God loved him deeply! He also felt that God had somehow hidden His face from him, yet he believed that God had his best interest at heart. He experienced the inner pain of distress, but all the while he felt the urge to sing to the Lord! Yes, his enemy was defeating him, but truly he knew that God would somehow deliver him.

It was a true battle between faith and emotions. If emotion won, King David would suffer defeat by his own doing. If faith won, deliverance would soon be forthcoming, for God is truly faithful! God's unselfish love and His involvements in King David's life were the anchors that kept him from being swept away by his negative emotions. The very fact that King David continued in His walk with God is a testimony of this. His faith in a reliable God sustained Him!

We, too, need to decide what we truly believe about God's love, His mercy, and the adversities God permits in our lives. We need utter faith in what we believe so that when the calamities of life come out of nowhere, we don't let them destroy us.

Forlorn, forsaken, abandoned. Does anyone even cares about me? Does God hear my pleas of despair? "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me." (Ps 13:5-6 NIV)

God came through for that confused girl in the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie. Her friends had somehow missed her at the bottom of the trail and had taken the bus back to the park entrance. There they were waiting for her at the park's headquarters. Worried when she didn't appear, they had the park office radio the bus drivers to keep an eye out for the girl, and in the end, she was found. It all ended in a happy reunion after all.

God always comes through!

Rob Chaffart

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