"Ki te tino kaiwhakatangi. He himene na Rawiri. Kia pehea te roa o tou wareware ki ahau, e Ihowa?"
"How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?"
Frustration and faith.
Full-throated frustration and full-blooded faith. As it turns out, both frustration and faith can be felt at the same time. God is there, in our frustration and in our faith. He hears us.
In the first two verses of Psalm 13, frustration erupts.
Frustration: "God, I feel forgotten by you." Frustration: "God, I feel unseen by you." Frustration: "I feel fragile, I feel beaten."
David pours out his emotion in a torrential river of frustration. There’s no downplaying it, no avoiding it, and no bottling it up. His soul is in anguish, and it overflows as he cries out to God.
But in verses five and six, faith flows. "In my grief, in my loss, in my sorrow, I do trust in your unfailing love, my heart does rejoice in your salvation, I will sing, because he has been good to me."
The reality of God’s unfailing love, God’s salvation and God’s goodness is the riverbed that David's feelings flow through. God's love, salvation and goodness are the flood banks that curb David's feelings of exasperation.
David's unshakeable faith in God's steadfast love, salvation, and goodness provide an anchor in his lament.
In verses three and four, frustration—framed by faith—flows out in prayer. David prays, “Look on me and answer, Lord.”
Feelings of frustration are real feelings, and we can pour them out to God. We can express them to God knowing that he himself, in the person of his Son on the cross, knows what it is to be forgotten.
He knows what it is to have his Father's face turn from him.
He knows what it is to have his enemies triumph over him.
He knows what it is to wrestle with his circumstances.
We know he did all this out of his unfailing love for us, to save us. We know that he has been good to us.
We can bring our feelings of frustration to God, because we are sure of his unfailing love for us. His goodness to us was demonstrated clearly and completely in the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus.
So take your frustrations to your Father. But, like David, let them be guided by the surety of God's unfailing love for us. In the end, say with David:
"But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me."